Tag Archives: Wine

Changing, Moving, Growing

IMG_20151004_165227When I realized that change was headed my way, I didn’t realize that it was going to be this intense.

In July, we sold our house in preparation for a move next year. We packed up all our stuff and trucked it to a rental. I whined about that a couple of posts ago.

However, life is not always orderly nor predictable (nor should it be). In late August, the opportunity for a great job came up. I interviewed, and a couple of days later I accepted their offer.

The job was 1000 km. away in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Wine country. Some of the best wine in the world.

Real wine.

I was on my way west (even though I’m not a young man) inside of a week with my car packed to the rafters, my poor Rudy dog parked in a kennel and my dear M left on the prairies to finish up a work contract.

Now I live near all those wine grape vines you see in the top photo.

After finding a long-stay motel to reside in and starting my new job on August 31, I immediately got sick. Go figure.

There was sniffing, snorting, blowing and wheezing. A cough that came out of my bootlaces. A jackhammer headache that doubled in intensity every time I coughed. Aches and pains in my muscles that could have been caused by digging the equivalent of the English Channel tunnel but weren’t. I sounded like a four-pack-a-day, 60-year smoker. If I laughed, I broke into a cough. Sneezing turned into a chain of mini-eruptions with attendant lava flow. I was feverishly hot and cold at the same time.

And through it all, I kept working. New job and all that. I was the queen of hand sanitizer, giant tissues and elbow coughing.

Then it started to go away.

I started to feel better.

I started to get cocky. I’m like that.

Then I started to feel really, really bad. I woke up one morning feeling like I needed to get the bolt in my neck tightened.

Which would have been all fine if my name had been Frankenstein.

But it’s not.

I decided to investigate by taking a look in the bathroom mirror.

I looked like I was wearing a turtleneck sweater with an inflation device inserted into the neck part.

The side of my neck was swollen from my ear to my shoulder and the pain that accompanied it was intense. My tonsils were swollen. My ear ached and crackled. I could hear everything inside my mouth but nothing outside.

A secondary infection had taken up residence. Yum.

It’s still not gone but I’m about to start my second round of antibiotics, for which I am eternally (and internally) grateful.

Nevertheless Continue reading Changing, Moving, Growing

Jitter All the Way

I’m not a morning person, but even if I was, I would still love coffee. Strong coffee. Turkish coffee. Arabic coffee. Cafe mocha. To me, coffee has all the nuance and complexity of a good wine.

Unless it’s plonk coffee.

And I know that this is some sort of national heresy, but when I think plonk, Tim Horton’s springs to mind. Well, it doesn’t spring. Their coffee has all the kick of grandpa’s walker.

Coffee is one of the best times of the day, even if it does mean that I’m propped up somewhere instead of sleeping.

Coffee has done a lot for me, too. For one thing, it has kept me awake enough to be employed. For another, it’s probably saved me from countless charges of road rage and the like.

Without coffee, I’d be unemployed and in jail. It’s amazing what coffee can do.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become sensitive to it. Which is weird, because it seems like everything else is desensitizing. I don’t see as well. I don’t hear as well. Calories arrive and take up permanent residence anywhere they can find a squat. I consider it to be a good day if I don’t wake up to another sag.

It used to be that coffee would never keep me awake, no matter what time I drank it. Then I couldn’t drink it in the evenings. Then I noticed that the afternoons were problematic. Then I noticed that it could make me a little shaky. Drinking coffee all day became a thing of the past.

Mornings, though. Those were sacrosanct.

So this morning while sitting at work, I noticed a slight tremor in my hands. I also felt a little jittery. As I reached for my coffee, I realized that I was consuming my fourth large cup. Could my hands and the coffee be related???

My cup holds a quarter of a litre.

Oh oh. Was I on my way to drinking a litre of coffee a morning??? Oi.

I thought about it. I thought, I don’t usually drink this much coffee.

Then I thought, yes I do.

Shit.

And no, I don’t mean poo-poop-de-do civet coffee, either.

However.

I’m not giving up coffee. I’ll cut back, but I’m not giving it up.

While I was thinking about it, I decided that there’s some other stuff I’m not giving up.

Chocolate.

Steak.

Red wine.

Maybe the odd cigar.

You’ll have to pry this stuff from my cold shaking hands.

Well okay, okay. Maybe I will have to sort of give it up at some time.

But never completely.

What will you never give up?

 

21 Things I Irrationally Love

This post has been prompted by the wonderful Aussa Lorens who in turn got this idea from the equally wonderful Samara. Check out the 21 things that they irrationally love as well as their funny, irreverent, witty and flat-out amazing posts about all sorts of things.

So, without further ado, the 21 things that I irrationally love:

1. Red. I love red. Red shoes. Red pillows. Red cars. Red scarves. Red jackets. Red airplanes. Fun red is always good red.

2. Chocolate (and Nutella!). Whither thou goest, chocolate. When I do without it for a while I appreciate it even more. 🙂

3. Star Trek, et. al. Crazy about it, ever since I was a child. But not the last series, the one with Scott Bakula in it. With that crew, it sort of went from being deliberately campy/cheesy to just being kind of dumb.

4. Fast cars. I would love to own a Mustang. Sigh.

5. Pasta. With almost any kind of sauce. I sometimes dream about pasta. The ultimate comfort food.

6. Red wine. And not because it’s red, because I like white wines, too. But red wine – well, what can I say? Yum! Especially the wines of British Columbia’s Okanagan valley.

7. Steak. Especially with red wine. With a side of pasta. And a brownie for dessert? Yesss! (Have you noticed how a lot of this is about food?)

8. Airplanes. Love those, too. In fact, am completely passionate about them. Which works out really well because I’m a pilot.

9. Ocean beaches. Love ’em. Love walking on them. Sitting on them. Digging in them … and also love the

10. Ocean. Make that any ocean.

11. Cigars. I used to occasionally smoke them, but not any more. Still love the smell, though.

12. Laughing like a mad fool at stuff that other people think is rather lame.

13. Original Craftsman houses. Especially the red brick ones. They have character, they have personality, they have charm.

14. Fine line pens. Black. I really dislike having to use anything else.

15. Jacuzzi tubs. Not the outdoor hot tubs. The indoor ones.

16. Scarves. I’m not very talented at tying them, but I love them!

17. Italy. I adore all things Italian, not just their pasta and red wine. 🙂

18. Ireland. What a great country!

19. Countries that start with “I.” (Just kidding.) 🙂 Handmade pottery. I’m actually a little potty about pottery.

20. Museums. I love ’em.

21. Art galleries. Love these, too.

What are some of your irrational loves?  Are you willing to do a post?  Would love to read other “21” lists!

Simple Things

Brownies
Brownies (Photo credit: yum9me)

Life turns on the simple things, I believe. They are the things that keep us going, that provide us with that little boost, that make life worth living.

In no particular order, here are some simple things that I really enjoy:

1. Chocolate. The darker, the better. And if it arrives as a brownie, I’m in heaven.

2. Being greeted by my dog at the door. He’s so nonjudgmental. He doesn’t care what’s going on. He’s just happy to see me.

3. A sunny, crisp, windless fall day. They are so gorgeous!

4. A good glass of red wine. I’m quite fond of the new-world wines, but Europe has some pretty good stuff, too!

5. Reading my favourite people on WordPress.

6. Browsing a newspaper from front to back on a Sunday morning with a pot of coffee at hand. And not an online paper, either. I haven’t been able to do this much lately as I’ve been really busy.

7. A hug from my M. He gives the best hugs!

8. A beach on an ocean.

9. Reading a great book. The kind of book that leaves you wanting more.

10. Visiting with my best friends.

There are lots of other simple things that I enjoy – these are just a few of them.

What are some of yours?

A Little Thanks for Good Wine and Other Things

Last weekend – Oct 12 – 14 – which was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, M and I went to the Okanagan Valley, an area renowned for its fruit and wine. We in indulged in both and had a wonderful little mini-holiday!

300° panaroma near Penticton, Okanagan Valley,...
300° panaroma near Penticton, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The above photo will give you an idea of what it’s like. We stayed in Penticton, from which we launched our wine tasting adventure. I took the “featured image” photo at the top of the page from a winery on the Naramata Bench. You can tell that the weather was fabulous. I’ve borrowed the photo below, but it also can give you an idea of what this landscape is like – forested and rugged with lots of grapes!

Naramata Bench 1
Naramata Bench 1 (Photo credit: pvsbond)

I took the next photo from quite an elevation. If you enlarge it, you can see many of the plots of grapes.

Osoyoos, near Penticton

We attended a major wine tasting where I learned to stick to just one kind to avoid getting a confused palate. Mine got confused anyway – typical!

March 2006 tasting panel convened to determine...
March 2006 tasting panel convened to determine if certain Merlots from the Okanagan could have characteristics attributable to certain geographical areas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

M and I had a great dinner at the Borrowing Owl winery where I had my favourite dessert, creme brulee. Here is the photo I took. Yum!

Creme Brulee!

The Okanagan produces some rather wonderful reds, such as the Black Hills Note Bene, a blend that I am in love with. M and I aren’t into the whole wine snobbery bit but we like to have fun with it and we also like to drink it! After all, for me, it’s an important part of my cultural history!

It was also important to remember to give thanks. Not only for the great wine, but also for each other, for our families, for our friends, and for many other things.

Do you have a wine experience you would like to share?