by Christine | Life, Writing
Most of the time, the two days prior to going to RWA’s National Conference are spent in a state of sweaty panic. The clothes I need to wear are a) lost, b) suddenly too small, or c) have strange stains in suspicious places. Or, horrifically, all three. (lol)
So I spend way too much money on clothes that are barely adequate, stuff them all in my too-small huge suitcase, and spend the entire conference in a state of panic/misery due to my feeling uncomfortable in the clothes I have to wear.
For some reason, this time around I’m good. I didn’t buy clothes for conference. Nor did I buy new shoes just before conference (to buy new shoes just before you stand for five days straight is not a good thing, in case you were wondering).
What I did do is put together an entire outfit for each day of the week, not including travel days. Then – no joke – I labeled each outfit for the day I’m going to wear it. Packed each outfit, layer by layer. Added underwear, sox, jewelry, shoes. Everything’s now packed for those important days, and I still have room in my suitcase. It’s a lovely feeling, because I always come home with more stuff than I leave with; having extra room in the suitcase lowers the possibility that I’ll be over the weight limit on the return flight.
But extra room makes me nervous. Which means, of course, that I’ll need to add some pieces for the nights, and extra tops. Just in case.
My dragon needs a name. He’s going a-courting Lady Dazzleton, a lovely tutu-wearing dragons (companion to Tameri Etherton) that he’s seen about on the interwebs.
And maybe another pair of shoes. Oh, a hat – I think I’ll really need a hat. And of course my dragon will be going with me – everyone needs a dragon, right? And art stuff. Well, maybe not art stuff, it’s not like I’m going to have time to draw or get fancy, but still. Should I put in the ms I’m editing? lotta pages, but maybe there’s room…OOH! CAMERA! Day planner. Should I add my day planner? And maybe I should unpack and double check those clothes…
…This year, I’m not panicking. Not panicking at all.
In other news, there were certain things I was planning to get done prior to National Conference, such as: pedicure, manicure, massage, facial, get hair cut and colored. Yeah, well. I did color my hair, and I’ll probably give it a bit of a cut this morning after my shower. So there’s that…
Hoping to be able to shout from the rooftops my news soon. In the meantime, have a safe and happy week!
If you have a name for the he-dragon in the photo, fling it to me in the comments!
by Christine | Life, Observations
It didn’t used to happen. Falling, I mean. Sure, I’d walk into walls. I’d trip over absolutely nothing. Ballet dancers do that (or I did, anyway). But falling? Only when I was aiming for a triple pirouette.
But Then I Hit 40. And then 50.
Things started to change. A benign tumor was growing in my right ear. Fibroids were developing in my uterus. My center of balance started to shift. Falls became more common.
I have some doozies in my recent past. Like, right over the top of the handlebars, for instance. Or falling backward from opening the window, and landing on my tailbone. Oh, and there was the one where I was walking to the kitchen and I stepped wrong, and broke my fibula. Yeah, that was a good one. (Fast forward ten months and I did it again, at the Day Job. Sigh.)
Since then, there were the two – or maybe three – times I’ve gone sprawling, face-first, in the grocery store. (I blame the shoes I wore.) Or on the street, heading to my car. (Dark, rain, puddles, headlights.)
By now, the tumor is long gone. Ditto the uterus. I should be back to “normal” and just be walking into walls and tripping over nothing. Right? For some reason, I’m not. And that totally sucks.
Falling never ceases to be nerve wracking. Like, is this the time I totally ruin my body? Or, is my tumor back? In the other ear this time, maybe? Do I have multiple sclerosis like my mother did? Is this the time I break a hip, an elbow, both wrists? The thoughts that go through my head after a fall are agonizing, and I know I can’t be alone there.
I do balance exercises. It’s one of the reasons I started giving myself a ballet barre again. I work at balance, I swear I do.
17 at Heart
In my heart of hearts, I’m seventeen. Or maybe twenty-nine. (Oh, shut up, lol.) I have the verve and agility and balance out the wazoo that I used to have. And that remembered verve gets me in trouble. I wish it didn’t, but it does. Every. Single. Time.
My last fall happened over the weekend. I’d been meaning to do something – not sure what – and when reminded, I jumped up from the chair with verve and alacrity, and immediately tripped over the footstool. Barking my shin, my toes, bumping the coffee table which tipped over several fragile marble chess pieces (breaking two), landing on one hip and one wrist before gracefully rolling onto my back, legs to my chest, breathing slowly and taking inventory.
Two days later, my wrist is still sore. My hip has recovered, as have my toes. My shin has a nice 4 inch, barely visible scrape/bruise which is tender to the touch but otherwise unremarkable. I have survived. I live, to fall another day.
I will redouble my balance work. I will do my best to make my pathways as clear as possible. I will do everything in my power to stop falling. But the one thing I refuse to do is pull away from my inner seventeen-year-old. I like her. I don’t want to give her up. I don’t want to have to live so cautiously that I am afraid to do anything. Because for me, that’s no way to live.
My spirit is seventeen. I’ll curb her when I need to, but I won’t squash her.
Why do older people fall…
Falling and Multiple Sclerosis…
Stop me falling…
by Christine | Wine Friday
It’s hot. Muggy. The humidity is rising faster than the heat, and the air conditioning can barely keep up. What’s a rational person to drink while barbecuing pizza at night, with the temps still in the upper 80s?
Try a white wine spritzer. Any white wine will do, actually, but I like going for the less expensive wines. Here’s the recipe:
One large glass – either a tumbler or a big wine glass.
Fill with ice
Fill half full with white wine
Squeeze half a small lemon or lime or – heck – an orange – into the wine (or get fancy, like the picture)
Add sparkling water (soda water) to the brim
(Contrariwise, you can always add some Sprite or 7-Up or other lemon-lime type soda instead of plain soda water. But beware; you add calories, too.)
Last night’s Spritzers were made with two different wines.
Side By Side 2010 California Chardonnay Alcohol 13.5% by volume; closeout sale at Vons, under $10.
On The Label: “Beyond the strategic relationship, so many of us from both nations have fought literally side by side, that this modern relationship between the US and UK military means a great deal to us. It has a depth and an emotion to it that is profound.” –Major General Phil Jones
Proceeds to benefit Azalea Charities Aid for Wounded Warriors program at http://azaleacharities.org ”
My Take: This was an easy-drinking wine, and the soda water and lemon made it go down even easier. I tried and failed to find the wine on-line; the label is a beautiful painting of two soldiers, one wearing a US flag, one wearing a UK flag. I wish I knew more about the wine; and where to get it. As it was on close out sale, my guess is its gone from the places I usually get wine.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ Perfect for a Spritzer, but just as drinkable without the extras.
Discoveries Vineyards 2009 California Chardonnay Alcohol 13.5% by Volume $7.99 at Vons
On The Label: “It’s not always the journey that changes our lives. It’s often the discoveries we make along the way. Our first discovery shows the silhouette of Ventura Pier and Anacapa Island in the distance warmed by the setting sun. Our second discovery is this Chardonnay. Both are soft and tranquil. Only one has fresh fruit and toasted oak in the finish.”
My Take: I sipped this wine straight out of the bottle after Tom made me a spritzer with it, just so I could get a sense of it. I went back to the spritzer. It turns out the lime/lemon added along with the soda water really made a difference in how the wine tasted, which made it perfect for a spritzer.
My Rating: ~ Perfect for a Spritzer ~ A new rating. I would otherwise rate it on the Barely Drinkable to Drinkable scale.
Two More Wines For Summer (that I would not use for Spritzers):
If you haven’t yet tried Cupcake Vineyards 2011 Angel Food, do give it a try. At first taste it does remind me of angel food cake, which is my all-time favorite. It’s got a great vanilla flavor with a little more than a hint of sweetness, cut by some green apple. I was vastly surprised that I liked it. My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Under $10 at Vons, on sale.
Also new to the stores is Be. Fresh Chardonnay 2011. Introductory price under $10; don’t know how long that will last. It’s a Beringer Vineyards wine, so the lineage is strong. I liked it; fresh, fruity, and when really cold, revitalizing. It was not in a typical Chardonnay-style bottle, but I got over it pretty quickly, lol. My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ (I couldn’t grab a picture of the bottle – but here’s the web page http://bewinery.com/fresh.php .)
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, how many political ads I’ve been bombarded with, and if Mercury is in Retrograde or not. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
DEMON HUNT Arrives July 16, 2012!
My Rating System: Undrinkable, Perfect for a Spritzer, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
by Christine | Wine Friday
In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10.
My friend and fellow writer, Kathy Bennett, asked about Rieslings a few posts ago. Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I’m not a sweet wine fan. But being the dedicated Wine Blogger that I am, I forged ahead into uncharted waters and tasted some Rieslings this past weekend. So here you go, Kathy…hope you find a few in here that you like! (I know I did…)
Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Riesling, 2010 Monterey County, California 100% Jackson Estates Grown. Alcohol 13.0% by volume; regularly $14.99, on sale at Albertson’s for $9.99.
On the Label: “The less we handle the fruit, the better the quality. The combination of climate, soil and hillside vineyards delivers a superior-flavored grape. Our Jackson Estates Grown Riesling is no exception. Stone-fruit flavors of apricot and peach deliciously mingle with hints of Anjou pear and bursts of jasmine. This wine’s distinctive taste is a result of the coastal vineyards in Monterey County, from where it was harvested.” –Founder, Jess S. Jackson
My Take: I really liked this wine, to my vast surprise. It has a faint flowery scent and a touch of the sweetness – just perfect for a spring meal (Easter, perhaps). The hubby wasn’t as enamored as I was, due to the slightly steely aftertaste and not enough sweetness in the foretaste.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I’ll definitely keep it in mind now for those spring/summer warm to hot days.
Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling, 2009 California Alcohol, 12.5% by volume Regular price, $11.99 – on sale for $6.99 at Albertsons
On the Label: “Through timeless winemaking innovation, an uncompromising eye for quality and unshakable faith in California’s vineyards, Robert Mondavi was a pioneer in producing wines that rival the world’s finest. The enticing floral and spice notes of our Riesling weave through the crisp fruit flavors.”
My Take: This wine smells like honey in a glass, and also has a lovely aftertaste of honey – light, crisp, sweet but not too sweet. My hubby said “This is a Riesling!” For me, this particular wine isn’t one I’d reach for on a daily basis, but for all of that it sits pleasantly on the palate and begs for a picnic at a scenic spot with someone special. Some sharp cheese, maybe salami, and this wine – you’ve got a winner.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ Plus it’s a fantastic price!
Chateau St. Michelle Riesling 2010 Columbia Valley, Washington State Alcohol 11.0% by volume Regularly $9.99, on sale for $7.99 at Albertsons.
On the Label: “Enjoy classic Washington state Riesling in this fresh, crisp and balanced style. Delicious flavors of ripe peach and juicy pear are underscored with racy acidity.”
My Take: Admittedly, I had this wine under unusual circumstances. 1. I’d already had two glasses of Pinot Noir. 2. The wine wasn’t properly chilled. 3. I wasn’t really looking to have more wine. However, this blog called…and the wine answered. To my surprise, it was my favorite of all three. The sweetness is balanced between the Kendall Jackson and the Mondavi; the alcohol content is lower than both; and there’s no steely aftertaste. The scent is fresh and floral, but not overwhelming. Perfect for a picnic, or a before dinner drink.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ It doesn’t get a higher rating because, frankly, it’s not a red. But to my taste buds, it’s the best of the three. Hubby preferred the Mondavi – and we’d both still drink the Kendall Jackson. And to my surprise, I’m now a Riesling fan!
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ. And hey – if you’ve got a varietal out there you want me to taste, let me know! You know where to find me…
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet?
My rating system: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!