A soothing Sauv.

Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile,

With sagging spirits and the thought of facing another two dreary snow-less days of work, it was time for a mid-winter porcher. B. picked up two bottles of nice dry reds that she had been wanting to try and allowed me to pick the one to open. I chose the Chilean Cab.Sauv. over the Ravenswood for no other reason than that the second rhymes too closely with the name of our school, and I wanted to GO SOMEWHERE FAR AWAY (see previous posts). It was mellow and rich enough to smooth away the edges of a rough week for both of us. Although we didn’t take time to consciously analyze this wine, it is remarkable that it was enjoyable enough to lull us into a sweet respite from our woes. I would have stayed longer to see it through to the end, but almonds and white cheddar popcorn weren’t going to keep me between the lines when it was time to head home and I turned down a sweet offer to stay for chicken and home made macaroni and cheese. We called it an early porcher.

I read up on the 120 and there is an interesting story behind the name; however, reviews were not stellar. In fact I did not find many positive comments about Chilean wine in general, but we porchergals wouldn’t steer you wrong. For the price, about 12.00, this is one I would pick up again, for sure.

Image

Reflections

Reflections

ri-flek-shun (n)

*an image, represention or counterpart
*a thought occurring in meditation; rumination

Like Peter Pan, I have lost my shadow–or maybe I AM my shadow and I’ve lost my self. I see my SELF there in the mirror, skin, eyes, hair and mouth maturing, yet familiar, but my spirit hovers somewhere between my heart and the floor like a misty fog. It seems that another bend in the road is ahead and not knowing what is beyond has made me quiet. It’s times like these when a porchergal turns to another kind of spirit for some answers! Tonight, I’m going to ruminate over my favorite white wine–a sauvignon blanc.

My first sip of this fragrant wine was enjoyed on the deck of a waterfront restaurant overlooking the Susquehanna River. It was a beautiful, starry night with two friends for company. It was definitely a porcher of sorts. Kelly treated us to a cold bottle, and who was I to say no? It was an appropriate choice for summer. With a hesitation born of loyalty to dry reds, I sniffed my glass and found myself falling straight into a pineapple-y bouquet. Intriqued, I sipped and discovered multiple and mysterious layers to this wine that still delights and captivates. Since then, I’ve been scouring the shelves at Ronnie’s or Cliff’s, wanting to experience as many different vines as possible–it’s that good. If you haven’t tried a Sauvignon Blanc, you really must. Try the Kim Crawford or the Oyster Bay from New Zealand.

So, upon reflection, maybe I’m not a shadow, but an intriguing and undiscovered vintage with many layers as yet undiscovered. Yes, I like that better. And I feel better, too. Thanks for listening, porcher friends.

Covered in Camo Colored Love

luck·y  

ˈləkē

adj. luck·i·er, luck·i·est

1. Having or attended by good luck.
2. Occurring by chance; fortuitous.
3. Believed to bring good luck: hoped to draw a lucky number

 

Image from tdcdecals.com

Yes my husband can be an ass.  A bearded, tobacco chewing, farting, oaf of a man.  He can be so stubborn it makes me want to pull my hair out and sometimes I randomly scream obscenities when we argue because he is just so…. so… ooooo!  He leaves his dirty boots dripping mud all over the floor, his definition of clean is far from mine, he gets mad at things I shrug off, he hunts non-stop for 10 months of the year, and he has problems grooming his facial hair but always manages to cut it right after I have cleaned the bathroom. 

BUT

I am lucky.  My husband is the sweetest, most caring, romantic, loveable, funny man I have ever met.  I love my redneck more than a normal person could imagine.

My husband and I met in college.  Correction, we met while dating other people in college.  It was not until senior year, one late Monday night in the only bar in town, that I saw him (wearing sweatpants and logging boots) that I knew he was the man for me; the man I was destined to marry. 

Unfortunately, he did not feel the same way about settling down at the ripe old age of 22 and after dating off and on for a year he dumped my innocent, head over heels, in love with him butt.  Heart broken I moved to Bozeman Montana and told him to never talk to me again.

Fast forward 2 years to the day that I got a phone call from him.  I was seeing someone else at the time but knew that I had never gotten over him.  He is my one true love.  I could not see myself spending my life with anyone else.  “Like sand through the hourglass” style I dumped my boyfriend and 6 months later my camo toutin redneck and I were engaged.

A few words to describe our wedding and honeymoon: 

Tent, Outdoors, Camouflage vests, my husband running off to look at a deer on the lawn, shot gunning beers in wedding apparel, camping honeymoon in a tent, camping honeymoon in a tent in the pouring rain, sleeping off benadryls from an allergic reaction while camping in a tent on our rainy honeymoon, priceless.

And from there we have lived happily ever after.  Yes, my husband spoils me.  Yes, he is extremely romantic.  Yes, I am lucky. 

Do we still fight?  Yes!  What else would provide excitement in our life if we were complacent.  Is our relationship perfect?  No, but I wouldn’t want it to be.  Is my husband my best friend?  Forever. 

Lately I have been thinking about a woman at work in her late twenties/early thirties who just lost her husband this week from a freak medical condition.  Life is so unpredictable.  There are no guarantees.  Yes I am lucky. 

It is currently hard to see through the tears, sadness, and grief that threaten to overwhelm my daily life as I suffer and mourn over the loss of our first perfect little baby and my hopes and dreams for her poor little soul… but at the end of the day, I am lucky.  I have someone to go through this with, while others have not.  I have someone to comfort me, console me, and fill the void in my heart. 

 As I watch and listen to my fellow porchergal, who sits patiently but anxiously watching her two teenage daughters go through the ups and downs of love…  perhaps they should take to heart the following.

 

Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up, who will stay awake just to watch you sleep. Wait for the boy who kisses you on your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you’re in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. Wait for the one who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares about you and how lucky he is to have you. Wait for the one who turns to his friends and says, ”…that’s her’ and smiles

Unknown

 

I know I did.

 

Dreams Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

by Langston Hughes

How many of us are still waiting or have given up on the dreams we had for our lives? I think I’ve lost sight of mine completely. While some of my dreams have been realized–to have an education and a profession, to have a large family, to live in the country–others have just sort of withered. I guess it’s not fair to be disappointed in the loss  of the dreams I had for my children, is it? I imagined an orderly progression of diapers, elementary school, high school, teen drama, college, marriages to good people and happy homes with grandchildren to hold close. Wow, we passed that exit long ago, although my oldest found his way there by a more circuitous and bumpy road. The other three remain dormant in their cocoons here, waiting for God knows what catalyst to make them take flight. And I…I am left wondering what there is left for me?

I recently became fixated on taking my husband and running away to a blue lagoon somewhere to have the honeymoon we forfeited so long ago. But he obstinately refused to go–why is not important now. The battle still rages between us, quietly. I find myself wondering what is the urgency to this dream? Am I going to die young, like my father? Am I trying to force the issue with my husband to prove that he loves me enough to make a sacrifice? Is the end of the world near? As my friend so rightly and gently told me–“You seem to be obsessed with this blue ocean thing–is this trip really a metaphor for something else going on?” Well, I don’t know. I seem to have entered a wintery cocoon of my own making. I don’t want to waste one second of this precious time on Earth, but I don’t know where to go from here.  I don’t even know how to end this post. I guess I’ll just sign off…

Anxiously awaiting Springtime

 

 

Prayers Answered

Part of my promise to St. Jude was that I would publicize the answers to my prayers gained through his intercession. So, my third plea was for my oldest daughter, 21, who seems willing to “jump on any train out of here” to start her life away from us. I want her to find her way, too! But I don’t think that should include giving away a part of herself to someone who hasn’t made a serious effort to win her or to commit to her. I think this is a problem many young girls face–even older women. We just want to be adored and desired by someone. Too many girls give their time, love, and bodies blindly hoping something lasting will grow, only to be torn apart when that doesn’t happen. I want my golden girl with her huge smile, kind heart, and sweet nature to be treasured and held “like holy water.” I think this song by Big and Rich explains it well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dXLC1butGct

This morning, she told me she wasn’t going to stay with her boyfriend for the weekend as originally planned. I don’t know what changed and I’m not asking, but I have faith that it was St. Jude’s intercession. I’m so greatful to God for watching over her and guiding her. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, St. Jude.

St. Valentine’s Day

St. Valentine

Valentine’s Day

Unbeknownst to most, February 14 is the day that St. Valentine was martyred by beheading. His crime was assisting other martyrs being held in prison. The legend goes that our modern celebration of the holiday began after one such unfortunate female prisoner received a letter of encouragement signed, “From your Valentine.”

What an ugly story for such a pretty holiday, right? Then again, now that I’m older and wiser I can appreciate that great love means great sacrifice. True love, deep love is a bittersweet thing. What else can possess your mind and soul so completely that you feel physical pain and cause your heart to ache with longing?

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
Mother Teresa

I don’t know about this Mother Teresa. I’m thinking about my husband and feeling verrry skeptical. Now, I think this absolutely applies to the love we have for our children, but in addition to loving them through every hurt they dish out, our hair turns grayer and our hearts a little weaker. But that’s the sacrifice of a parent and we accept it willingly. With husbands, there’s only so much we porcher gals can take before we run to the rockers and break out the “shine.”

On to happier things, more in keeping with the sweet side of the holiday. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day gifts over the years:

  • Boyfriend #1 took an ad out in a local newspaper and posted my school picture with a sweet message about what a beautiful person I was–I was only 14!
  • Boyfriend #3 who later turned out to be my husband brought me three carnations when I was 16. One was pink, one red and one white. He said, “The white one is you, the red one is me, and the pink one is us together.”

So, my southern friend, what say you on this topic?

Pilgrimage Part II

Before heading into Baltimore on that snowy Friday morning, I had been preparing myself for our pilgrimage through prayer and fasting. Consequently, as I knelt before the shrine, I felt a sense of peace and assurance that St. Jude had already begun to intercede on my behalf, so after saying my prayers and revisiting each of my intentions, I allowed myself to gaze around the alcove.  My attention was captured by a tiny piece of blue paper that had been wedged beneath the foot of the statue, and my heart squeezed in sympathy for the person whose desperate plea was folded inside. Below the statue was a large glass box with handwritten messages of praise and thanksgiving for answered prayers. I’m so grateful to God for His understanding of us little children who need such tangible things as candles, holy medals, and shrines to comfort us. 

 It is now 10 days past our trip and our novena of prayers ended yesterday, but our relic medals still hang around our necks and our candles are still burning as constant reminders of our intentions and our gratitude to St. Jude for his intercessions. Of my specific prayers, there have been two wonderful answers–one of my sons was offered a promotion with a pay raise and a four day work schedule. This will allow him more time to devote to his little family, and to, please God, conceive another child. My other son has seemingly risen out of a fog as if he is newborn, and has immediately set out to get healthy and to GET A JOB!! Glory be to God.  My daughters, well, time will tell, and as for my marriage–that is a difficult work in progress. My focus is turning to them this week and especially to my beautiful friend who is waiting for a child to bless her marriage. I pray for this to happen soon so that her faith and hope in God will be renewed.

I will update this post whenever I need to give praise and thanks to God and to St. Jude for his intercessions, and I look forward to promoting this special saint to anyone who crosses my path in need of direction and hope.

Redneck sommelier

 

 

Som·me·lier (n.)

According to dictionary.com

1.  a waiter in a restaurant who has charge of wines and their service : a wine steward

2.  French, from Middle French soumelier official charged with transportation of supplies, from Old French, pack animal driver

As we consider ourselves the most well respected redneck sommeliers in the holler, we porcher gals take this definition to heart, meaning that we should take the SUV and frequent the surrounding vineyards buying up as much wine as we possibly can and lugging it home as often as possible.

Since we live right on the mason dixon line right next to a renown vineyard, Fiore, it is difficult to venture in to uncharted wineries without comparing the local vino to the local offers.  So we russled up our flannel and bedazzled shirts and headed out to the vineyard.

Sooooo scarlet letter

Soooo scarlet letter

The ride to Basignani vineyards was very beautiful. Upon entering the tasting room there are sparkling lights on the ceiling, dusty wine bottles on the shelves and a border collie roaming around; all of which led to the charm of the vineyard (minus the smelly bathroom).

Upon our tasting we discovered that once again we had met at the fence: we both liked the same wines.  Congratulating ourselves on our mutual taste we decided to take some home to the porch. Our top of the vineyard list included:

Seyval: a crisp, fruity, drine white wine (surprising because we usually turn to the dry reds and both of us found this extremely orgasmic)
Cabernet Sauvignon: (of course because we are dry red addicts and we even admitted to ourselves we should branch out and start to try some whites soon)
Mulled wine: enjoyable for its warmth in a cold drafty room

1

Disturbing was the cloudiness of the Lorenzino Reserve, which apparently is unfiltered. We didn’t notice this until we got home in the bright light of the kitchen but both of us Porcher gals prefer our alcohol clear and in mason jars, so this was a new undertaking for us.

All in all we would give Basignani a 3/5 stars for the wine, 4/5 for the ambience. 

As the two dogs whining at the door have just reminded us boozers who are snacking and imbibing, its time to stop your “winin” and cook dinner for your men.

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Snow days

 

tea·cher n.

A person who helps you solve problems you would never have without them.

 

Teachers are often the most dedicated weather watchers…

the wait…

the suspense…

will we get the call?

2 hour delay?

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The Pilgrimage

 

pil·grim·age  (plgr-mj)  n.

1. A journey to a sacred place or shrine.
2. A long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance.
 
 
On Friday the events of the last 6 months culminated in an appeal for holy help.  Both of us porcher gals braved the snowy roads to travel into the city of Baltimore to the St. Jude Shrine at 5:30 in the morning.
 
 
There I spent some peaceful time praying and reflecting on the events of my recent past which have led me, a non-Catholic “relaxed” Lutheran, to a Catholic shrine in the middle of a snow shower at the butt crack of dawn to pray and buy relics in the hopes that St. Jude will help me. 
 
The pain and loss that I have felt the last few months since we lost our baby to Turner’s Syndrome, the emptiness as I watch the teacher across the hall from me with the same exact due date grow bigger, my upcoming surgery which has been another set back on my journey to motherhood, the injustice of women aborting their unwanted babies when all I want in the world is a healthy baby and the pregnancies of friends who have healthy babies growing who started trying to conceive after my husband and I have all consumed my life and served as impetus for this trip to appeal to the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.
 
The day that we learned that our little baby daughter was not going to make it was the worst day of my life.  There is nothing to prepare you for the shock and sadness of losing a baby after carrying it for any length of time; it makes you physically sick.  Our subsequent loss and everything that we have been through since has been the most challenging and hurtful experience I have ever had to deal with…  it is with this mindset that I come to you, my porcher friends, to talk about dealing with this painful stage of my life, moving on, going through the motions of daily life, and trying for another baby.   I promise that not all of my posts will be depressing and about motherhood, but know that the porcher is a place to bare your heart and soul, to talk about your feelings without judgement, to receive support and encouragement from others who have gone through the same thing, and to learn to laugh and rock again.