I Am Going To Wine Hell.

I don’t much care for red wine. I especially don’t like the Saint-Emilion reds that Top Cat prefers, which are so dry that they are the liquid equivalent to Death Valley.

Top Cat, inspecting the vineyards at You Know Where.

Last week, a very persuasive wine merchant coaxed T.C. into buying something new — a Bordeaux from Saint Estephe, a whole other microclimate about 50 miles away from Saint-Emilion.

So last Friday, our date night, Top Cat opened his new bottle and drank a glass, and decided it was too whiny and not for him. So he left the bottle on the kitchen counter and opened one of his reliably arid Saint-Emilion reds.

Well. Who among us can let whiny wine go to waste?

Not moi.

So I took a sip and found that it was OK; an acceptably mid-bodied red that only needed some ice cubes to make it potable.

I like chilled white wine, even in the California desert.

So I loaded a glass with ice cubes and poured the Saint Estephe. I put a thoughtful look on my face as I pondered the beverage. It was still a bit too dusty for me. I pondered some more. And I knew what I could do to doctor this wine to 50% perfection.

I added a shot of ginger ale. And it was good. So that’s how I drank that Saint Estephe Bordeaux, over ice and mixed with ginger ale.

And that is why I am going to wine hell.

So September is upon us. I start my days in the dark now.

I’ve begun a list of things I have to do to prepare me and the cats for Winter. First thing, I have to mend the fleece cover to Steve’s outdoor heating pad for his nest by the front stoop.

I have started to move my Summer clothes to the back of the closet. I’ve dug up my notes for that book that I haven’t written yet, for my Winter project. I weigh myself.  I mope.

This is Day 41 of my diet to lose the eight pounds that I gained in 2018 and 2019. And today, at Day 41, I am eight pounds lighter and it feels right, and my jeans fit again and I’m pleased, but not happy. Because September.

Lickety is still hanging in there, which is a huge joy. Lickety and his support crew have taken to dozing in the driveway (see above), so we have to park the car on the street, because Lickety > 3,497 pound automobile.

I am typing this on Friday morning, and the skies are darkening an hour after sunrise because Hurricane Dorian is on his way to the Isle of Long, and  is going to pelt us with rain this afternoon.

I’ve made the usual disaster preparations and am as ready as Alabama to ride this storm out.

I’m excited to have a new Abigail Thomas memoir to read while I get hammered listen to the pitter patter of the September rain. I’ve read the first bits of What Comes Next and How To Like It so I know that this installment of her on-going autobiographical chronicle includes interludes that describe her art-making, which seems to be mooshing toxic oil-based house paint around on glass, which I am not particularly interested in, but she’s such a fluid and beguiling writer that I will forgive this conceit. But that explains why there are two smooshes of paint dabs on the cover.

If you want to see more of her art, click here.

As another writer who makes art, I have been busy this past month making figments of imagination from a haunted book shop for my October installation at our local library. I showed you already one of the first items I made, one of five botanically-inspired structures that I call Bonsai for Ghouls:

This was not the finished piece. I wanted it to make it ooze out of the book more, as if it were growing from the book, not on the book:

In future blog posts you will see more of The Making of Bonsai for Ghouls, a how-to and a what-the-hell-for for those of you who enjoy that kind of thing.

But for today I have a special treat for you!

The Stromness Rock . . .

. . . is on a coast-to-coast tour of America and today, thanks to Dear Reader Gali, the Rock is off to a stupendous start!

Here’s the Rock admiring the reflection of Mt. Monroe (in the Northern Presidential Range) in the great state of New Hampshire:

I did not know that New Hampshire looked an awful lot like the highlands of Scotland, but here’s the rest of the Presidential Range to prove it (from left to right: Mt. Clay, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Madison):

Cog railway on the way to Mt. Washington, NH:

Lucky Rock,  here at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut near Mt. Washington:

And then the Rock kayaked on the Charles River and got its picture taken with the skyline of Boston (MA):

The FreedomTrail is a 2.5 mile walk though downtown Boston that passes 16 locations, from Boston Common to Bunker Hill, that were significant in the creation of the United States:

A night out on the town:

Tanks, Gali, for getting a Boston taxi AND the Old State House in one beautiful twilight shot!:

The Rock then went to Battle’Green in Lexington, MA, where the first shot of the Revolutionary War was fired, on April 4, 1775 — The Shot Heard “Round The World:

This is so cool:

Paying respects to the Minutemen, an elite sub-group of the Lexington Militia, depicted in this statue unveiled in 1900 on the 125th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord:

And at the First Parish church in Lexington:

The First Parish in Lexington was founded in 1682 when the 30 families then living in Cambridge Farms (the area now known as Lexington) petitioned the Great and General Court of Massachusetts to be allowed to establish their own parish.  The church now has a Unitarian Universalsim mission.

This church is so liberal (and that’s a great thing!) that I’m pretty sure that if that dog wanted to hold a bar mitzvah there, the congregation would be all for it.

The Rock is now on its way to New Jersey, (thanks, Carol!) and I won’t make a joke about its getting big hair and a tan down the shore. Thence to Jeanie, Angel, Susie, Alexandra, and Marilyn.

Now that we have Texas on the itinerary (thank you, Rachel), I can send out the second half of The Stromness Rock Welcome Kits to Thea, Leslie, and Maryanne. I wish I could send you all a Thank You bottle of pinot grigio, but there’s a storm coming’ and I am in dire need of all my provisions.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. Hunker down, wherever you are, and hold tight. Only 502 more days of this shit:

If we couldn’t laugh, we’d cry.

Well, we’ll still cry, but in between sobbing we might crack a smile or two.






See you next week.



5 Comments, RSS

  1. Carol September 6, 2019 @ 10:50 am

    I have the Stromness Rock!!! It is patiently awaiting some upcoming adventures.

  2. Casey September 6, 2019 @ 2:16 pm

    “My favorite color of the alphabet is three.” Yes. I can actually hear der Dumpster say that.

    WOW GALI!!! That rock had a lot of fun! Great photos. Such a pleasure to watch you all have fun with this.

    Love the ghoulish bonsai. I would gladly watch you make one of these, the same way that I gladly watch your paint dry when you do your fabulous watercolors.

    Red wine and ginger ale, tho. Are you sure that’s not a ghoulish cocktail?

  3. Marg-o September 8, 2019 @ 12:55 pm

    Very funny. I like a dry red also but not *that* dry. Lickety and his posse are so cute. They are watching over him, and I have no doubt that he knows it.

    Your bonsai for ghouls are scarey indeed. It looks like paper cache, but I know it’s glue and pages from old books. What an excellent method of recycling. I want to see the whole forest and yes, please, I’ll be here to observe the creation of the next one.

    Way to go, Rock! Fabulous photography from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Thank you Gali for the road trip. I did not know that there was a presidential mountain range but I guess Henry Clay had a booster when the hills were being named.

    • Kirra September 8, 2019 @ 4:07 pm

      I think you might actually be going to wine hell Vivian, but some of us might see you there too!

      Good to see Lickety and his support crew doing well. Good luck with the storm.

      Great to see what to Stromness Rock has got up to on its first voyage.

      Thanks for making us all laugh at the end too.

  4. jeanie September 10, 2019 @ 1:58 pm

    Sometimes I never know where to start! But I’ll give it a shot and hope I leave nothing out! And the biggest, best is three cheers for Lickety! I can tell the support squad is right there, two and four-legged! I hope it’s still going well. And I also hope that you didn’t NEED the laying in supplies for Dorian. I’d like to think it blew on by but with cable news you only know if it hits HUGE and not any place else. I suppose I COULD watch the weather channel but…

    Love the trees and am eager to see both the tutorial and next in the series. And Top Cat and I would drink well together, fighting over the dry red. But hey, wine hell could be an awful lot of fun and you never know who else might show up! Drink on.

    Looking forward to the Stromness rock arriving while I’m still going to the lake and if not will make sure it sees the best (and probably worst, because there isn’t that much best) of Lansing! Thanks for the giggles!

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