Thursday, August 30, 2012


This summer has been busy.  Between church events, family, friends visiting from out of town, and the constant requirements of maintaining a relatively clean/organized house, I have been staying quite occupied.  It has not left a lot of time for...a lot of things.

Now, I like being busy.  I like having places to go, people to see.  But in the last two weeks, I have come to realize something else.  There is a lot of value in quietness, being alone.

One of my biggest tasks in the last three weeks has been getting up to speed on two classes I will be teaching for high school seniors starting in two weeks.  I am very excited to be doing teaching and am loving reviewing material and being creative as I work on getting these high schoolers ready for college.  In my preparation, the hubby has been unspeakably helpful to take care of the kiddo (who is getting very talkative and more and more mobile) so that I can go grab a coffee and focus my brain power on what British literature I want these kids to read during the course of the year.  =)

As I have been working on my classes, it has also turned into blog reading time.  And then prayer and journaling time.  We serve an amazing God...He uses technology to connect people around the world who might otherwise never have had the ability to keep know each other or keep in touch.

But in the course of my blog reading, I have come across people that I "know" who are struggling with some very real problems right now.  Two bloggers I regularly follow have babies in NICU.  Others are dealing with recovering from illness or difficult pregnancies/deliveries.  People I know in my area are dealing with incapacitating pain from a variety of sources.  Both the hubby and myself have grandparents who have been in and out of hospitals for the last three months.

Life is short.  And precious.  And all in God's hands.

I realize that there is little I can do in a very physical sense to help these people.  There are doctors who are qualified to do much more for these people.  But there is something of value that I have been trying to do more often.


My heart is wretched by all these stories and situations.  I want to be able to hold hands, hug, or make dinners for people.  But I'm not always able to do that.  So I take the most immediate and helpful thing I can do and do it with all my heart - pray.

via Pinterest & here
I know we serve a powerful and listening God.  He can see each of these people and has them in his hands.  What more can I ask for?  The Creator of the world is making sure that each person is given strength in measure for the difficulties in front of them.

That is comfort.

Have a beautiful day and stop to notice - it really is beautiful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Crnko (Silvo Crnko) 2011 Jarenincan

Summer is rapidly drawing to a close but I thought I'd squeeze in another summery wine for the last few hot evenings and beautiful sunsets that remain this season.

What wine is it: 
Crnko (Silvo Crnko) 2011 Jarenincan
What I ate with it: 
brown rice with furikake (a Japanese seaweed  condiment) and seared yellowtail tuna
How much is it: 
$10.99 for a liter bottle
Where to shop for it: 
Wine Exchange (this is the only place I could find it for sale so I apologize if I get your hopes up and you can't find it.)  =P

This wine was absolutely delightful.  It is a rare Czechoslovakian wine.  Not a country widely known for having great wine but they are certainly working up to it if this bottle is any indication.  

The nose was strongly green apple (think the smell of biting into a Granny Smith apple) but the taste was more apple with a pine-y taste also.  (The hubby said it smelled like moments in his childhood when he and tree sap became inseparable.)  =P  It sounds like an odd combination but it actually harmonizes very well.  It is like tasting the fruit and the soil it grew in at the same time. One word of caution: this wine does not sit open very well.  So if you are not able to drink a liter of white wine by yourself, get some girl friends or have a dinner party or something.  If it does end up sitting for too long, it starts to have more resemblance  the scent of cleaning products than wine.  We had a glass left over from Monday evening to Tuesday and it definitely was past its prime.

But I would definitely recommend it over all and hope you all get a chance to try it!

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: Mountford Liason Pinot Noir 2008

I give up.  I keep trying to take pictures of my meal and wine so that you can see what I'm eating and drinking.  But I'm going to be honest here.  I get kind of excited and start sipping and eating and before I know it, I'm done with everything.  =P  

So we are going to start a new format.  I will use whatever picture I can find/snap of the bottle so you all know what to shop for and I will give you all the information you need right off the bat.  Like this:

What wine is it: 
Mountford Liason Pinot Noir 2008
What I ate with it: 
spicy Italian sausage with angel hair pasta tossed in meyer lemon olive oil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, and sea salt.
How much is it: 
depending on where you get it, $29.99
Where to shop for it: 

As you may have seen on my post last week, it was my anniversary and we decided to get a couple of bottles that we might not otherwise get to celebrate on a few other days.  Extend the party if you will.  =) 

But when we opened this bottle and started sipping, I couldn't believe how easy to drink it was.  It was one of the most balanced wines I have ever had.  The alcohol content is a little high for a pinot but the flavors in the wine itself were so well harmonized that it didn't matter.  There was an even balance of fruit and the earthy flavor of the soil that the grapes had grown in.  It was amazing.  I am certainly not qualified to accurately describe what was going on in that wine.  Suffice to say, it was worth every penny of the $29.99 we paid.  Even while eating the spicy sausage, there was no competition between the food and the wine.  The flavors were clear and compatible.

Verdict?  Get a bottle.  =)

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wine Wednesday :: 2011 Ostatu Rioja Blanco

I have been very negligent of my Wine Wednesday posts recently and I am very sorry.  However, I do have a good reason and I hope that you will forgive me since we have had friends and family visiting for the last two weeks.  It was a fantastic time to catch up with people and I will put together a summary in photos of that time pretty soon but for now, I have another wine to introduce you all to!

I have realized recently that I am developing a distinct inclination for European wines.  They have a balance and complexity that is often harder to find in domestics.  (This does not mean that American wines are not good, just not always my taste.)  With this inclination, I have recently been introduced to some amazing Spanish wines that are phenomenal.  Today, though, I will be focusing on the Ostatu Rioja Alavesa Blanco 2011.

From: Wine Searcher.  From: Wine Exchange.
The vineyard has changed its wine making style in the last few years from a process that merely churned out early drinking wines to a process that allows the wines to age for a good period.  That being said, this new 2011 is drinking beautifully right now.  (And I suspect it will hold up for a few years to come as well.  So the $11.99 price tag from Wine Exchange makes it a great investment or wonderful for this weekend's party.)

There are two varietals in this blanco: 85% viura and 15% malvasia.  Viura is pretty exclusive to this area of Spain and let me tell you, they do it good.  =P  There are strong green apple notes on the nose but when you sip, there is something that made me think of hiking.  A strong earthy (flinty, as one friend described it) tone is there as well.  Altogether a very pleasant wine that balances well on the nose and is pleasing on the palette.    I paired it with an Asian inspired noodle salad and with the ginger dressing and crispness of the vegetables brought out the sweetness of the wine but also highlighted the more sun-warmed earth elements were there also.  

So what am I saying?  I'm saying get a bottle, chill it, and enjoy.  You won't be disappointed.

Have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Today is my third anniversary.  Corby and I have been married for three years.  Although neither of us can really say that it has felt like that many years or anything like that, we have been living under the same roof, had the same last name, and put up with each other for three years.  =P  Just kidding because Lord willing, we will have many more.

I was reflecting today on why my guy is greatest.  These are the top things that come to mind.

He knows how much I hate doing dishes and almost always will do them before I get to the kitchen.

He helps me figure out my technological difficulties.

He will play any video game I want (yes, I am a gamer...kind of his fault...that is how many of our free nights are spent =P).

He will take care of the kiddo so I can get a little extra sleep.

He's kind of the best.  I always said that I needed a guy who would tell me when I needed to shut up and would always bring me closer to our God.  And I got him.  Happy anniversary, sweetie.
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