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Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 253 – SFA – An Acronym for Wisdom!

acronymThirty-two years ago today, we walked into the coliseum at SFA as students and walked out as graduates with our Bachelor’s degree.  32 years. . .until today, when we returned to watch Daughter #1 take her turn and walk across the stage.  A flood of memories came streaming back–as we looked around, the old, aluminum bleachers had been replaced with real seats and hanging over center court was the retired number of one of the greatest Lady Jacks–EVER, Rosie Walker!  Back in the mid-1970’s, before Title IX changed the face of women’s athletics on college campuses, schools like SFA and Old Dominion dominated women’s basketball.  During our tenure at SFA, we were privileged to watch Ms. Walker play for the Lady Jacks, and they were the toast of the town.  No disrespect to the men, but the ladies drew the fans. . .and we were among them.  Not too sure what she’s up to today, but it was a trip down memory lane to see her retired number up on the rafters at the coliseum!

Watching the graduates process in, hearing the families cheering for their graduate, watching the looks on their faces when certain family members did their best to embarrass them. . .well, you can’t put a price tag on any of that.  And, it happened so fast–just yesterday, we were dropping her off at Freshmen orientation. . .moving her into the dorm. . .moving her out of the dorm and into the apartment. . .picking her up at the Boys and Girls Club of East Texas. . .in the blink of an eye, four years screamed by and now, we have our first graduate in the family.  A little proud?  Yeah, you might say we’re A LOT proud.  People congratulated us, but it’s really the kids that make this happen.  Our job is to be the guiding light, but their job is to execute the mission.  And as of today, mission accomplished!  Now, the goal becomes getting that first career position. . .patience.

Because we’re in two different places tonight. . .Jean attended a nephew’s graduation from Texas A&M, and Brian is spending the night with his Mom in The Woodlands, so Brian picked out a wine a Kroger for blogging purposes.  Acronym, is a red blend from California.   The fruit for the Acronym Red Blend comes from vineyards in California’s Central Valley.  The region boasts ideal conditions for cultivating quality grapes: fertile loamy soils, gentle winter rains, and warm days tempered by cool nights.   Acronym is a dark ruby red blend of several varietals dominated by Pinot Noir and Syrah.  A nose of red berry fruit combines nicely with hints of roasted coffee, soft vanilla, and milk chocolate. The fruit follows through to the palate with dark berry jam flavors and a touch of cedar spice. The mid-palate gives way to a beautiful, lingering finish.  At $10 a bottle, it’s probably not something we’re going to search high and low for at the store.  It’s a wine to try…because we needed a wine to blog about, but beyond that, well, there’s a lot of better wines for the money that we’d jump at before this one.

So, sitting at the computer we came up with a few acronyms…LOL, ROTFLMAO, SOS, ETA, PDQ, BFF, TTYL, TTFN…and a whole bunch of others, but no acronym can measure up to the value of a college education. . .our pride in both of the girls stems from their abilities to excel.  It’s what allows us the pleasure of reliving memories on the campus of our youth and now the campus of her future.  It’s good stuff. . .enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to RWP!!

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Day 160: Birthday Wishes . . .

Castiglioni ChiantiHistory.  It teaches us.  It reminds us. It brings us back.  It also makes us smile.  Twenty-two years ago today . . . yes, that would be 1991 . . . we welcomed the newest member of the family.  (No. . .it wasn’t another dog–or a cat for that matter!)  Daughter #1 came into this world 22 years ago today and for the record – Motown was cranked up in the background, and as parents go – just being a little biased – we were smitten from the moment she came into this world.  She doesn’t know it, but Brian was there to hold her first . . . to weigh her . . . to help put her next to her Mom.  It was in one word – AWESOME!  It brings tears to his eyes to this day.  For Mom, the incredible joy of holding a daughter – gave her a sense of  what it must have been like for her Mom 31 years before.  Life Is Amazing when you sit back and think about it.

And, what becomes of a young lady who clearly and completely stole our hearts?  Who was clearly in control as a baby – but didn’t know it?  With both parents working, memories flood back to rocking in the chair with the bottle in hand while one gets ready for work and then the roles are switched as we prepare the diaper bag, plenty of bottles for the day, all of the ‘In Case of Emergency’ notes . . . and then, BAM off to daycare.  Could it be that six weeks went by like a blink of an eye?  Yes it did – and so did the next 22 years.  Rolling over, crawling, the first steps  . . . they all come so fast – and ONLY ONCE!!  Special moments?  You’d better believe it.  Little things like that are taken for granted – maybe even ignored today, but we craved the chance to see the one or two things that – once they happened – we’d NEVER see them again.  If you stop and think about it, the number of these amazing – once in a lifetime opportunities that our children give us-are lost in the day-to-day living and GONE forever.  Learning how to use a spoon, learning how to take her first steps, learning to talk (at 10 months and it hasn’t stopped yet!!!!) these are the little miracles that are laid before our feet as parents and what we CHOOSE to do with them, remains in our hearts for the rest of our lives.  And that’s before BARNEY!!!

Because what happens next is life – yep, kindergarten, grade school, girl scouts (thanks, Mom), middle school, boys . . . and then CELL PHONES, iPods, parties, friends,high school, jobs, driver’s training, driver’s license (YIKES!), cars, boys, dates, concerts, and suddenly – – – graduation!  The train gets going so fast that we forget to enjoy the ride.  We forget to let the horn blare out – – – this is OUR KID!  And–so we stop and take a deep breath and SMILE.

Today, 22 years ago . . . our family started . . . and THE FAMILY is getting better and better each and every day!

We needed to break out a wine that was special for today, so we found a really nice, but young (funny how that works!), 2010 Castiglioni Chianti, in honor of Daughter #1’s birthday and a remembrance of her trip to Italy this past May.  Since the wine was so young (hmmm, common theme developing here), we decided to decanter it while we created an amazing feast of corn tortillas, lightly fried in oil to give them a fine crunch; paired with the finest of prepared cheese and diced tomatoes with green chiles.  It was a feast that could only be made better by a fine wine.  Funny as it may seem, this wine was delicious.  It was fruity–as you’d expect from a young chianti, but it also had structure and body that reminded us of bigger, bolder wines.  Decantering the wine gave it a chance to open up and the aroma was superb.  From the wine maker, “The color is a purple red with violet reflections. On the nose, cherry is prevalent followed by strawberry and raspberry with floral sensations of rose and classic sugared almond. The palate is soft, warm, vinous, pleasantly balanced. The finish is persistent, with round notes that return to cherry in the aftertaste.” 

Normally,  we laugh at reviews like this, but in the case of this wine – SPOT ON! At a price less than $15 a bottle ( on sale) you’ll be  hard-pressed to find an Italian wine that’s this good and yet so young.  We’ve enjoyed big-dog Barolo’s for way more money, but in the short term they couldn’t measure up to this Chianti.  You might want to get a hold of this wine before it gets better as it ages – and that means the price will keep going UP!

Birthday wishes . . . to Daughter #1.  You came into our lives at the perfect moment in time – – as laid out by the Good Lord.  And, even though your parents brought you home from the hospital – laid you down on the couch (next to Calvert The Dog) and proceeded to look at each other and wonder when the parents were going to come home to claim you!  YOU have grown into an AMAZING young woman with a passion for life and a gift that can only be appreciated by those who LOVE YOU.  Cheers Lo!  We Love You!

If you have a son or daughter, raise a glass to them, because they are our future – your future – and you gave them your world!

Enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.