Happy 9th Birthday…Shannon

Every birthday is different and this one was fascinating. We’ve settled nicely into this routine for just a week during which we wake up before 7, grab some coffee and breakfast and head out the door to get Shannon to the Peck Thoroughbred Horse Ranch where she is taking a week-long camp learning to ride, clean, groom, train and all the other things you do with a horse.

Her mount is a fine little pony named Cherry. Well, she’s not so little. She’s about 13 hands or so (for those of you who know what that means–I don’t. I’m just copying what Ms. Nancy, Shannon’s teacher says). Cherry is older, above 20, and is a calm, friendly thing with a lot of spirit. Shannon loves her as you can see here:

Meanwhile, we settled into yet another routine for Sue and that is that she’s walking everyday. I’m a walker and hiker going back more than 10 years now, but Sue has always been infrequent. With Monday’s good news, she’s felt she needs to concentrate a little bit on her own health and she’s taking it seriously. That makes me happy.

Grandma came into town yesterday and has been able to see Shannon ride which makes here smile endlessly. I don’t want it to be Thursday tomorrow. The cool weather, puffy clouds and time I get to spend with the girls are magic and have a calming effect, a relaxing effect I did not imagine I’d have.

I want more cool evenings on the patio, a fire roaring in the chimneia and a glass of wine on the table. I want to have more conversations with my 9 year-old in which she tells me how she feels “so much older…” I’ll take those and a few late nights in front of the keyboard and that will do it.

Happy Birthday, Peanut.

3:00 P.M. Monday

The phone rang at 3:00 P.M. today. We’d been expecting the call since Friday, but realistically imagined it would not happen until tomorrow. We had hope, faith and trust that all was well. And so when Dr. Fung called and said he wanted Sue to come in to the office today after 4:00 P.M. and bring me with her, Sue looked blenched. I heard her tell him that I’d have to stay with Shannon if she wasn’t to come along. He said it would be best if it was just me. Aunt Laurie left work early and came home to watch P.

A few weeks ago, Sue had been experiencing pain in her leg and she finally got to the point where she sought medical attention. Just above the knee, near the thigh, a hardness developed and the doc thought to x-ray it. Sue has a history of melanoma, though all have been excised in situ-which means in place-and there were no consequences. Still, best to not fool around with these things–but the x-ray saw nothing, picked nothing up.

To be prudent, because she was still in pain, Doc ordered a CT Scan on her leg. We waited two days for results of that, nervously, but all was well. No issues and we were happy. The doc suggested, though, that since there was a history of melanoma, that we have a baseline PET CT scan. This is a pretty involved 3 or 4 hour procedure in which dye is injected into the patient and the scanner runs head to toe to pick up “tracers” or “markers” that might indicate abnormal or rapid tissue growth. He said it was a cautionary measure and a good idea given her history. We were happily agreeable seeing as the leg seemed not to present a problem and Sue’s hysterectomy in the fall allowed for a battery of medical tests in which they determined she was fairly healthy.

On Friday, Sue went off to take the scan and I took Peanut to the movies where we saw How to Train Your Dragon. We had a good time and it was a Friday, what could be better? Sue got home from the scan, I took P. to her dance class while Sue and Laurie made pasta and pizza and we had a nice evening together. We basked in Peanut’s birthday party over the weekend and generally enjoyed ourselves.

Monday dawned beautiful and cool and as I’m on break, we both took Shannon to her horseback riding camp she’s taking this week. We came home and walked the track together over at the park along with Scoop the wonderdog, he and I lapping Sue, but she humming happily to REM on the ipod and enjoying the cool breeze, the sunshine, the day. I washed and waxed her car for her and replaced some burned out lamps in the rear tail-light.

We picked up P. together and debriefed her on her glorious first day of being a cowgirl and we came home to relax a bit, Peanut read and I did some work on the computer. The phone rang at 3…..

We drove first to McDonald’s to get a cup of coffee. It wouldn’t do to get drunk and then go see the doc, so coffee seemed a good substitute. It was early and we had no expectation that we would do anything other than sit in the waiting room. Sue had been, was still crying and she was helpless to stop the tears. I kept Peanut away from her and it seemed to work fairly well. She had no real clue what was happening.

The wait was interminable and we sat together in the doc’s office, tears streaming down her face and me trying to comfort, but not knowing what to say. In my own head, the world was spinning. Weak-kneed and forced to think “happy thoughts” just to keep from going mad, I found myself flailing. My wife needed me to be a man at this moment and all I could think of was a line from Hamlet in which King Claudius says, “She’s so conjunctive to my life and soul, That, as the star moves not but in his sphere, I could not but by her.” I found myself wanting inwardly. Outwardly, I clowned, tried to feign peace and calm.

When the doc came in, he looked at Sue and said, “I knew I said too much. It’s nothing earth shattering, really. Here’s the situation…” He began to unpack the results of the PET CT scan. Sue’s leg was fine and there was nothing to worry about there. The scan, however, had red-flagged her right ovary. It found a mass on it or at least a swelling and the radiologist thought it was cause for concern.

And it is. But it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. First, what the scan also revealed is that even in the worst case scenario of the ovary being malignant, it has not spread and if that’s the case, the ovary can be removed. Sue had a hysterectomy in October of last year and at that time, her OB/GYN noted the ovary, took an ultrasound of it but was comfortable enough with the results that she didn’t follow up.

Dr. Fung said that he wanted Sue to go back to Dr. Ferro, show her the result of the PET CT scan and simply have her do another ultrasound on the ovary. Since she’s already had a hysterectomy that left ovaries in tact and since Dr. Ferro saw the ovary up close and also did the ultrasound, he was fairly confident. Sue has a history of ovarian cysts and this could merely be one more of those.

Whatever the case, even if it’s the worst case scenario, it means they take the ovary out and all will be well. The PET CT scan was fairly clear about that–there were no other major areas of concern.

Sue breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s OK,” said Dr. Fung. “You’re OK.” It was the longest hour of my life, I think. Nothing comes close except my daughter’s birth and the complications that ensued then with Sue. That was over fairly quickly as well and we were in the hospital awaiting results. Here, we have just simply been left to stew in test after test–and then, when we got the results, we had to wait an hour before we learned the details.

We walked immediately over to Dr. Ferro’s office, gave her a copy of the report and set up an appointment. Sue will go in to see her April 8 and have another ultrasound. If Dr. Ferro feels it is warranted, she’ll either biopsy–or schedule to remove the ovary. Or, she may see it as a cyst and deal with it that way. Whatever the case–we are OK and our prayers have been answered. Sure, the news could have been, “no worries–all is fine and well.” But, if it had to be anything, this will do for a faithful positive answer.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for prayers.

Peanut's 9th

Yesterday, we celebrated Shannon’s ninth birthday. Peanut no longer seems an appropriate moniker for my little girl, though I will probably refer to her as that from time to time.

I remember so well writing about her sixth birthday in this house. She had a cold that week and still, we celebrated and her party was a great success. Yesterday was remarkable in that upon waking, the wind was absolutely howling. I know my weather patterns and while it’s not unusual for it to be warm this time of year, a Santa Ana condition is indeed unusual. Such was the case with winds gusting up to 40 mph or higher.

No consequence normally, of course. But this wasn’t normally. The birthday party that my wife and daughter planned was an outdoors party at the park replete with sack races and egg-carrying relays, limbo and all the other assorted and old fashioned games kids play. It was Shannon’s idea. The wind, however, plays havoc with such things. The party favors needed to be taped down, the barbecue had to be canceled and I cooked the hot dogs at home (Hebrew National, you know–got out a big pot and boiled ’em Chicago style) and the pinata danced in the wind without anyone having to swing it around.

Still, the kids had a blast–well, most of them. At nine years old, some of the girls, and they were all girls, had made it clear that they wanted little to do with an outdoor party that involved physical activity. They seemed bored at times, but my wife, sister-in-law and I wouldn’t let them stay bored long. Still, I’ve never heard such a cacophony of complaints from 9 year old girls. “I can’t run in the race because I hurt my back,” or “I can’t play that game because I twisted my ankle.” It was a vortex of human suffering among the pre-tween set. What they wanted instead was to sit with their hands in the potato chip bucket and the M and M tray. But hey, who am I to judge?

Shannon, though, was a trooper. What blew us away is how tired we were at the end of it. Part of that is that the wind saps energy and moisture from your body. If you’re not privy to the hot dry winds that blow in So. Cal sometimes, you are missing one of life’s great challenges. I’ve written about it before, but allow me to shorten: the hot dry winds, the devil winds or Santa Anas as they’re known, have one redeeming quality. They make the dog poop hard very quickly by removing moisture entirely from the air. Of course, if you don’t have a dog-then there are no redeeming qualities. Maybe, go out in your yard and lay a lawn sausage yourself and wait for it to dry. Don’t worry, it won’t take long.

OK. That was inappropriate. Sorry.

Anyway, that combined with corralling the girls for four hours was a little rough on all of us. The party was an hour too long and we realized that about two hours before the party ended. Still, we were able to keep the girls busy and happy and Shannon was truly pleased with the outcome. The day began with a bit of worry on her part about how the weather would affect the shindig. She didn’t have to worry. All was well and she pronounced it a fine party, indeed.

That was all followed up by today’s rather remarkable feat procured by my friend and neighbor Ty. His daughter was at the party and afterward, he and his wife Tracey invited us over for some smoked meats and potatoes. We’re not ones to turn down free meals cooked for us at any time but on a day like this when the only energy we had left was enough to pull a cork out of a wine bottle, a free meal was a blessing. So, off we went.

Ty told me to bring the van over to his shop Sunday to allow him to help me put new break shoes on. We thought there might be a break issue we’d noticed earlier and having spent a small fortune on that van, I wasn’t in the mood for another $500.00. It’s just about at the point where it is costing us more per month than a car payment, so any money I can save is a point in my favor and keeps the car dealer away. $22.00 and about 15 minutes later, Ty had the power tools doing the work and though the brake pads weren’t nearly as bad as we’d been led to believe, replacing them wasn’t that hard, so in went the new pads.

It was one of those man moments for me. As I’ve said, if I am to be judged by my manliness handy skills, I am doomed indeed. I can quote Shakespeare for you and tell you if your participle is dangling, but I’m not much of a repair guy. The smallest household chore I’m able to do fills me with days of many pride and joy. This was one of those, though Ty did all the work. I watched and learned and think, reasonably, that I could do it if I had to.

Sue’s CT scan came back negative and we’re pleased. We’re awaiting the results now of a PET CT scan she had Friday. This was a precautionary measure as she has had melanoma before and it is prudent to do a check of these things and make sure all is as it should be. Of course waiting for answers is hard, but we’re confident she’s OK and will continue to be cautiously and faithfully optimistic.

Monday’s enobytes.com blog will feature a piece on the passing of Fess Parker by yours truly. Please do patronize the site. As always, thanks for reading.

Been there. Done that. Glad it's Over.

The week has been a roller coaster. There was so much provocation, so much work, so many things over which to worry and yet, all seems well enough.

There were medical tests for Sue over a pain in her leg. Various scans have revealed nothing, thankfully and we are grateful for that news. But Sue suffered Melanoma twice now and though both were removed, it’s important that once you’ve had that condition, you get yourself checked regularly. In light of that–another, more intricate scan tomorrow. It is a cautionary measure. We are prayerful that all will be well.

There’s also been the brutal beating we have taken on this house. You know, the market and all. But, we’re slogging through it and so my prosaic remonstrances here are nothing really to get worked up about.

Biorganicwines is now officially closed for business, the website is down and so are the facebook and twitter accounts. I’ve got some things I want to spend time on and I’ve already begun doing that with writing some more articles and essays.

John Frost at the Disney Blog was kind enough to publish my bit on The Princess and The Frog. If you read the essay, thanks—I refer you back to it here because it garnered a great many comments, the vast majority of whom disagreed with me and, I think, for some valid reasons. I stand by my argument–but I now believe my argument is not nearly as universal as I once thought it was.

Two nights in a row with little sleep, capped by last night’s revelry in doing a good, sound wine tasting with some blokes about whom I’ll be writing later this spring for Ventana magazine. So–I’m off. Spring Break this week, gentles, so I’ll have more to say as the days go onward.

Defeat is the only Recourse.

I’m not the first nor will I be the last to point out that the Democrats jumped off the cliff today. I rather hoped they would not and I thought that perhaps the fact that their constituents didn’t want them to was reason enough for at least a simple majority not to join in the leap. But, it wasn’t.

I know some of you are happy about it and that’s fine, to each his or her own. But this is such a simple waste and a gigantic disaster to me. As Fred Barnes pointed out recently, this isn’t the end of it–it’s only the beginning. What I hope happens is that the Republicans screw up enough courage to repeal the damn thing if and when they take back the House and/or the Senate. But if that doesn’t occur and the worst happens and the Federal Government takes control over one sixth of the economy, co-opting major decisions that should be left to individuals and their chosen medical professionals, it will bankrupt this nation. We’ll become a second-rate Euro democracy and it doesn’t take ideology to see that British National Healthcare is going broke and so is Canada.

With this vote, the Democrats in Congress put themselves on a path toward destruction and that’s OK with me. But as we all know, political fortunes can turn on a dime. Heck, it was a year ago that Republicans were the ugly stepchildren and President Obama was the Knight in shining armor come to rescue us from the evil bad corporate monster Republicans. Now, President Obama has fallen faster in approval than any President in modern history and has banked any political capital he had on this bill which is nothing more than another collection of pay-offs, kickbacks and ultimately, attempts to tax and spend the American people into submission.

So, maybe President Obama will turn this around by November. Maybe his golden tongue will whip the majority of us into some kind of dispassionate logic wherein we see that saddling our country with more debt and higher taxes so that the government can tell us when and where to see a doctor is a good idea. Maybe he’ll even convince us that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are intelligent, thinking and self-sacrificing people who had only the good of the country at heart. And maybe, the President will be able to show the world that this new collection of taxes, debt, government control and rationing is indeed the future of liberty.

But, as I have said before when it comes to this fool of a President and his obviously unpopular agenda, I rather doubt it.

Here’s to the defeat of Democrats in 2010–and to the defeat of President Obama’s agenda and the President himself in 2012. May he be the last in a long line of overestimated Democrats.

Ends and Beginnings

I’m not going to go long here. Suffice to say that last summer, my brother and I set out on a project known as biorganicwines. The idea was good, but again, I’m not going to go long here and explain. The bottom line is we’ve now evolved into something entirely different and we continue to grow in different directions that ultimately will achieve our goals.

The result for you, my gentle readers, is that the entity known as biorganicwines.com is coming to an end. I will be removing the website from the Internet this week and the facebook pages will disappear within the next couple of days.

If you came our way and read our blogs, shopped our wines or watched our videos, read our stories or looked at our pictures, I’m grateful to you.

It’s time to move on into new horizons. For my part, this blog remains the same and the bedrock of where I am on the web. No changes here. The same pontification, pondering and punditry with hopefully a storyteller’s passions will reign.

For now, onward.

The Problem with The Princess and The Frog

When Disney’s The Princess and The Frog first came out, there were all kinds of pontifications. Many pundits thought it Disney’s best work, sublime, thoughtful and artfully crafted. Risky, said others. Other still said the film was racist. When it failed to show at the box office as intended, recriminations poured in. “This is proof that America is racist,” said some. But in the face of electing the first African-American President ever by a large margin, that argument never rang true.

Having just watched it this evening, it would be impossible not to fall in love with these characters. Princess Tiana is as engaging a young girl as many Disney ever produced. Sure, she’s eclipsed by some other Disney Princesses, but that’s not because of her. Indeed, race is not the issue here. The issue here is that this film is dark.

It would be hard to argue that to a young person’s mind anything was scarier than the 1937 Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She’s followed up by the witch in Sleeping Beauty and the evil stepmother in Cinderella. They all have evil in common. But their scariness is limited. Their background music, their magical powers, all serve the purpose of painting them as someone to be feared. The thing is, in every one of those films, evil is limited and the underlying theme is that it can be defeated. Even at its darkest, shadowiest moments, there is a fight between good and evil and it is clear in those stories that good can win.

Dr. Facilier in Princess and the Frog is not nearly as engaging a character. True, he has a great voice and his facial expressions are just right. But his body-type, thin and lanky, languid and dancer-like, make him more menacing, more dangerous. He lingers in the shadows and is called “the Shadow Man” by those that know him on the Bayou. His minions are shadowy ghostly figures that crawl by night and make groaning, ghostly sounds. This is The Haunted Mansion, another unacceptably frightening film, on steroids and it’s no wonder kids don’t like it. My daughter didn’t.

She loved Louis the trumpet playing Gator and he is a fine suspension of disbelief. Raymond the lightning bug is even more fun, more dialect driven with his Cajun accent and his love for “Evangeline,” the night sky star that draws him each sundown. But his death at the hands of Facilier and the ensuing funeral, even though it ends with the metaphor of Raymond appearing next to Evangeline in the sky, is too haunting for young minds.

Children don’t really understand death and for the most part, they believe that those who die can, in some way, return. They find it hard to process that information and even though Facilier meets a just and timely end, it’s a frightening scene in which he is taken into a tomb by the very demons that he uses to harm others. Even though he’s gone, the shadows still lurk and continue to cause harm, the damage they’ve done is permanent and it has a direct effect on the characters for whom loss is real.

My nearly nine-year old daughter wasn’t thinking these things, of course. But any parent recognizes the lasting effect of metaphor and imagery. Conscious or unconscious, film in this visually motivated generation will have lasting effects on memory. When she first saw the demon shadows come into the story, she immediately left the floor where she was sitting and curled up next to mom. This was frightening, uncomfortably so.

If Disney is really wondering why the Frog didn’t deliver, they need look no further than this truth-most parents concerning themselves with their children’s viewing habits will make decisions clearly based on how frightening a film is. The three aforementioned Disney Princess films and others, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, none of them had such terrifying villains whose powers never faded. Even Mermaid’s Ursula was comic in her villainy. The scenes in Beauty and the Beast where the Beast is introduced are powerful and even a bit scary, yes-but once the audience is introduced to him, he becomes a sympathetic character. As for the evil queen, the witch and the step-mother, all have their menacing traits, but none of them are so menacing that they are lasting in their treachery.

With this newest jewel in Disney’s Princess crown however, there is a dark shadow cast by Dr. Facilier and his shadowy minions. These are unrelentingly frightening characters and children don’t need that at any age. If Disney doesn’t understand that, they’ve missed the mark on what parents want for their children.


Green, purple and blue continue to lightly diffuse over my left thigh. They look like a bastard sunset, attempting to be attractive or at least unique. But really, they are simply these swampy, algae like two dimensional shades that range over my thigh and each day, they get a little more diffuse, a little less clear.

If you’re in a praying mood, add my wife, won’t you? She’s had an x-ray on her own leg for pain that she’s had there. The x-ray was negative, but the pain persists and so the doc, suspecting some kind of soft-tissue problem, will take a CT scan. Sue’s battled some nasty stuff these last few years and we’re prayerfully hopeful that the battle will continue and be won on our side. But your added prayers would be welcomed.

The week has been a trying one full of all of those trivial kinds of things that won’t matter even days from now but while they’re happening, they’re large. I had to go defend the re-write of the journalism curriculum I undertook with my colleagues and friends who run the other high school’s newspapers. We made it through the first step and we’ll go back to the district curriculum committee one more time to get it voted upon. If the committee approves us, then in the fall, we will start with a college preparatory journalism class. Here’s hoping.

Meanwhile, the writing schedule is filling up again and while the weekend looks clear, Monday begins a hectic week of writing and reporting. I love all of it, of course. No complaints here.

A short post tonight, gentles, as I am drained. I need to reserve some small quantity of energy to put some more writing together and the clock is ticking.

Happy Friday to all.

Purple Haze

Purple has stepped aside and green has taken over. Who knew that my left thigh would go green before I did? The bruise, the welt–all still there and it’s rather this sort of slow evolution. The leg didn’t bruise the first day except for a tiny spot. The lump came up immediately and appears as a knot in the thigh. The greenish purple hew now dissipates and runs across my thigh down to just above my knee and though it is not dark or stormy looking, it is there making its presence known.

It’s not the worst injury in the world. It’s just a bit unique and when one considers the way in which I obtained it, one can only laugh. Or pity. Or, perhaps-just sneer. I understand either way.

I didn’t mention, and I should have but didn’t because I was in the throws of serious self-pity what with water heaters, thighs, lost bottles of wine and mold on the walls–that my wine-making pal Brian came to the rescue on Saturday. He opened up our closet, pulled back the carpet to let it dry and cut out the padding as well. We let it rest in the 80 degree temps–and now it’s ready to go back in again. Thanks, Brian. I owe you.

The other wine-making pal, Ron and I have purchased a 60 gallon American Oak barrel in which we will rack our 08 Cabernet Sauvignon when it arrives next week. We’re pretty excited to get the vanilla, smokey taste in there and we think it will push that Cab right up over the top. We anticipate letting it sit in there for about 3 months before we start thinking about bottling. It’s been in Hungarian Oak for some 16 months now. Beautiful. We will sell no wine before its time. Well, OK-we won’t sell any at all. We’ll consume it, most assuredly. Share it with friends, yes. But sell? That falls under the whole illegal thing for which we’re not really prepared. So–no sale.

St. Patty’s day tomorrow and one of my favorites. I enjoy an Irish holiday in which all my friends become Irish. I have Irish lineage and so does Sue. Heck, our daughter (Peanut) is named Shannon and we have paid tribute to that lineage in a lot of ways. I sometimes think I’m a lost Catholic looking for a home in a hopelessly liberated Lutheran church.

Sue is making corned beef and cabbage and I bought some Murphy’s Stout and some Smithwick’s to make Black and Tans with. Should be a fun evening. It’s also my pal Edd’s birthday. Happy birthday, ole bean.

It’s off for now to write rubrics and sing happy teaching songs. That’s what you do when you’re a teacher, you know?

"Let it Begin…"

Purple tinges begin to adorn my leg on the upper left thigh. They are not wildly dark and blessedly so. The lump is there still, though I think smaller. The pain is there still, though I think better. I tried a walk with Scoop the wonderdog today and it wasn’t stellar. The weariness may have been aided and abetted by the wind and heat of a weird March Santa Ana condition with temps near 80 and dry, hot wind blowing ‘cross the land. I hate this crap. But the leg wasn’t at its level best on the walk, either. Not so much a limp as a…well, a hitch in the giddy-up. It just didn’t feel right to stretch it out and make it go. I was relegated to slowness and soreness.

For Scoop’s part, he was happy. It allowed him the “stop n sniff” tour of middle Camarillo where every plant calls his name, every bush, every light pole, every mailbox-a new thing for him to own. “I’ll take one of these,” he says to himself. “Oh-and I need one of these, too,” he says while looking at me with non-plussed eyes, a casual grin and lifting his leg on a fencepost.

The story over which I was particularly fussy got done today and for this, there was much rejoicing. Little bubbles of happiness oozed, though I admit they were marred, somewhat, by this very rare feeling of perfectionism that I can get when writing. I don’t have it for too many other things, really. BBqing sometimes, but that’s about it.

Some call it undue obsession, others an unhealthy attachment. I call it passion. When I’m writing a piece for a new editor, I really want to shine and when it’s a magazine, that’s doubly so. The average newspaper story I write lasts for maybe 10 minutes or less on the reader’s memory. But a magazine story? That’s a different ball of wax. It can sit and linger on a coffee table for months, inviting casual readers like moths to flit through its pages. The lucky stories can get pointed to by their owners. “Oh, Fran-did you see that story in the magazine? It was really good. Look on page 52.” And there I am-weeks, even months later. So, I fuss a little.

Is that arrogance? Nah. Arrogance would indicate that I believe I’m good enough to warrant such attention. I labor under no such beliefs, I assure you. Is it, though, a deep seeded psychological desire to be loved? Sure. I’ll accept that. I have abandonment and rejection issues. Better to know yourself, or as Clint Eastwood would say, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” Yessir. I have self-awareness.

The saga of the water heater has a happyish ending. There is now a new and efficient water heater, as previously mentioned, plugging away comfortably and nicely in the garage. Delicate thing, a water heater. It falls under the category of “never know how much you need it ’till it’s gone…” under which so many other things fall as well: garbage disposals, furnaces, insulation, good quality duct-work. Lots of things.

But the water heater is replaced and we didn’t have to charge it. I think it was God’s way of taking away money we could have used for something more….fun. I mean, the fact that we actually could pay cash for such a thing is fairly rare for us. I’d say that it happens maybe once or twice a year. Most of the time, there is simply no way that the budget is prepared for that. Emergency savings account? Um….no. Not yet, anyway. And now with more than a grand out the door on a water heater, there isn’t going to be one soon, either.


I’m depressing myself. I’ll expostulate there no longer.

is undergoing changes and we’re working on new angles. I want to be optimistic about it and in some ways I am, but I don’t see the future of it very clearly anymore. This is partly because the vision I had to sell wine at the site has all but vanished. We don’t offer price points, we don’t offer anything new that most of these wineries’ customers don’t already know about. So, we’re retooling. Still some tricks up the sleeve.

A Monday gone down to night. Amen. Hot, dry, windy and full o’ business. Everyone’s busy, everyone’s tired–and irritable. I resolve not to be in the midst of it. A twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream…that’s me.