Friday, June 19, 2009

5:00 Fridays

I imagine that many of my readers also drink wine, no? You do hear whines, right? If not, I need to know what you're feeding those kids or where I can get some of that duct tape/velcro/kennel you're using. Not that I've given the peaceful and humane sequestering of children any thought or anything. I'm pretty sure I'm right on the money by assuming that many of you hear the word "no" multiple times a day. I hear it like 6500 times in a given 24-hour span. It's often in ALL CAPS and followed by ten gajillion exclamation points. Never do I hear the word no in a soft, quiet manner. On a good day I hear no followed by a motherly-taught "thank you."

And so today's pick is an oh-so-aptly-named wine by a little vineyard in Northern California's Lake County. I bet my pal @ginavon would dig this. Even GaryVaynerchuk has given props to this vineyard's sauvignon blanc. No Vineyards and Winery. I knew I'd love it when I saw the label. Yeah, I totally judge a wine by its label. And you're lying if you tell me you don't. No cork. No oak. Perfect for this girl who just tried the No chardonnay.

Now, I am not a chardonnay girl. I never order it. Ever. I am an admitted snob because chardonnay is what I graduated to after my short stint drinking white zinfandel while learning to drink wine with my friend Rich back in college. Keep in mind this was a ginormous step up from the Beast consumed on our paltry budget. Go on, shudder. My tastebuds still slap me silly for it time to time. But back to this chardonnay...it's a lovely summer wine. Not oakey like other chardonnays I've had. I don't do oak, be it furniture or wine. I live in the City of Oaks so I prefer to leave the trees alone. We need the shade around these parts.

Have I mentioned that I don't know crap about wine? I just know what I like, what I want to spend, and a bit about food pairings. I am no wine snob who waxes on about bouquets and what nots. But I do know what tastes good. I enjoyed this No chardonnay with visiting friends over a simple dinner of steamed shrimp, arugula salad, and roasted squash. We all enjoyed it and appreciated that we didn't need to monkey with a corkscrew. Did I ever tell you that my mother calls me Monkey? Yeah, she does. But that has nothing to do with this wine. Nor is this blathering the result of drinking too much wine. I just like to throw in snippets of non sequitors time to time to bring you into my brain for a layover.

So you want to try out this wine that somehow magically makes those two little letters N-O seem more palatable? In the City of Oaks you can buy it at the Wine Merchant in Cary and Raleigh. Nationally you can check out Whole Foods, but any respectable wine retailer can special order the wine. A good twist cap bottle retails for about $12.99-$14.99. Just go on and get yourself some No chardonnay and give it the ole college try.

And for the record, I am not paid or compensated for saying any of this. I just write about what I like. Compensation would be great, but then my opinion wouldn't count for much, would it?
5:00 FridaysSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And the Jesus Talk Continues

Deal, who is in vacation Bible school this week (I know, I know), comes home to tell us about his lessons every afternoon. We've heard all about Queen Esther and the Jews she saved. He was painting pictures of the Jews the other day, though I'm not convinced he even gets what means. Yesterday's tale was all about how Jesus rose from the dead. Deal told us all about how the guard fell asleep on the job.

I could see Bird's eyes and brain gears in full motion. He was doing all he could not to interrupt.

And then he burst.

"Jesus is a zombie because zombies are walking dead people!!! Jesus is a zombie, Deal!"

"NO HE ISN'T!!!"

"Yes, he is!!! Jesus isn't real!!!"

Screaming, tears and all, ensued.

God, help me.
And the Jesus Talk ContinuesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Race for the Cure

With my friend Scott who ran for his dear friend Ann.

Balloons released by survivors.

The saddest tribute. This woman hugged my friend Christy and thanked her for raising money for a cure. No one is a stranger on race day.

Part of team Stop the War in My Rack. We're hot. By that I mean we have just raced in two races in the June heat of North Carolina.

A survivor. An inspiration.

Parade of survivors. Notice how young they are.

Ann's Fans, a team in support of my friend Scott's pal.

Men came out in droves to support their loved ones.

Love love loved her hat! Dang, it must have been hot and itchy.

Starting line. More diversity than I ever see in one day. Cancer does not discriminate, cliche but true.

Heartwarming to think of someone's children hammering this sign along the route.

Random neighbors along the route.

This is what 30,000 racers look like.

Meeting Tutugirl for the first time!

The early risers of our team. Thanks to Christy, our team captain (and brains behind the fantabulous team name Stop the War in My Rack)! What an amazing experience.

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Race for the CureSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rockin' the Race for the Cure

I am furiously scribbling this at the tail end of a long night of writing. I can't promise my best work, but the thoughts, the feelings, the stories had to get out of my head to make room for more. My brain can only hold so much since my marathon viewings of the Real Housewives of New Jersey have sapped me of precious brain cells. I'll upload photos later when iPhoto isn't being as finicky and pissy as a tantruming three-year old not getting any sugar cereal in the grocery cart. Forgive my babbling. If this were a writing test I'd fail. Luckily no one reads this with a virtual red pen.

Saturday marked my second Race for the Cure. I walked for my friend Jen, mom of three, wife to one, who just had a bilateral mastectomy today.

I teamed up with my pal Christy who is training for the 3-day walk in DC in October. She's the brains (and let's be honest, the beauty) behind our marvelous team name: Stop the War in My Rack. We, along with about 10 other friends, walked the 5K on a hot June morning. Some of us walked the route twice to support Christy's training for the grueling 60 mile walk she's conquering come October. I walked with old friends and new. Tutugirl1345 jumped in to join us, so we could finally meet in real life after chatting on blogs and Twitter for months.

The shower of pink was blinding. The beauty of women even more so.

Our team shirts (which you can buy for $15...100% goes to help Christy's fundraising...just leave a comment with your email address) garnered a ton of attention. Strangers were snapping photos of us, and the folks at Fuze gave us our pick of drinks just because they dug our shirts. It was the first time I didn't mind strangers totally checking out my rack and laughing. I puffed my Girls out proudly.

Here's where you can read my observations from last year's race.

As for 2009, here's what captured me:

Men turned out in throngs. Had they turned out in thongs we'd be onto something. Um, I totally didn't mean it *that* way. Men were out in full force supporting their wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, colleagues. They wore pink. They teared up. They cheered. They embraced. They were brewing with raw emotion and bared it unabashedly.

Children had pink signs pinned to their backs reading "In memory of Mommy." Children. A 10-month old baby. Three-year old twins. Five-year old girls. Children the same age as my Bird and Deal.

Young women crowded the field during the survivors' parade and salute. Young women. Women younger than me.

I met and wept with one mom whose sign bore the name of her daughter who died of breast cancer. At age 32. Her best friend died recently of the disease. She said it was the first year she was walking in memory of someone instead of in celebration. I shudder in awe at her resolve.

The 88-year old woman rocking on her porch who was a beacon of beating the odds last year was there again. Cancer-free since 1980. Standing ovation and curtsies to her.

Mother and daughter walking arm in arm, oblivious to the hubbub around them. The girl's shirt reads "We helped our mom beat breast cancer." Hallelujah.

And I'd be remiss to not shout out to the masses of organizers volunteers. We, the racers, had the easiest job. The volunteers did all the hard work. They sweated it out in sweltering heat with no one to applaud their efforts. We owe our fantastic experience to them.

And to the women battling breast cancer, I salute you. I honor you. Your stories are inspiring, if not overwhelming.

Early detection is key. Cop a feel. No one knows your Girls better than you do. Hop in the shower and poke around. Get to know your breasts, ladies. I turned 40 last year and got myself a mammogram for my birthday.

If you are in the Raleigh area, the YWCA of the Greater Triangle has an Encoreplus Program to support early detection. Free screenings and breast exams for women 40+ are scheduled twice a month at the YWCA at 554 E. Hargett Street and at Rex Hospital at 2800 Blue Ridge Road. Contact lkimble@ywcatriangle.org or call 919.834.7386 ext. 19 for deets.

Do it. Early detection got Jen treatment right away. You owe it yourself, to your husband, to your children, to your family. It's their body too.

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