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My favorite holiday has come and gone – and the torch has been passed. more
A long time ago, in a winemaking land far, far away, an evil witch, Phylloxera, cast a spell on the grapevines of that nation, causing them to wither and die, and thus, there was no longer any wine to be made. In a small vineyard, one vine species, protected by the good witch Viognier, had countered the spell and the vines there were still producing excellent white grapes from which wine could be made. So precious was the wine made from these grapes, which would thereafter carry the name of the good witch, that it became the most expensive wine in the world. more
The forecast says it’s finally getting chilly next week. Highs in the 40s and 30s, maybe even some snow. Gardening season is finally over. more
Dear Thanksgiving, more
We live in a world of rules, some obligatory, some by law and whether we like them or hate them, we follow them like unthinking zombies. more
More than 20 years ago, Tom gave me a gift certificate for an hour-long massage as an anniversary gift. I’d never had a professional massage before. (Women don’t count the one-handed massages men sometimes give while holding the remote with their other hand.) more
Thinking about my kids’ futures and, frankly, the future of all life on Earth was what motivated me to begin making changes toward everyday sustainability. I knew I wanted to move away from choices that prioritized convenience over environmental friendliness, but there were so many areas to clean up that it felt a little overwhelming. more
Has the rapid increase in the price of wine affected you? Does price now determine your choice of wine? Well, don’t feel that you are alone. more
The Kansas City Star recently published an article regarding allegations against a high-profile Christian leader. As a Christian leader and pastor, I can’t stand seeing other leaders fall, particularly when they are high-profile leaders. It’s infuriating! The world struggles with Jesus, the church, and Christian leadership enough; we certainly don’t need to add fuel to the fire. more
Last year, I shared my grandpa’s military service story with our readers in honor of Veterans Day. I interviewed him so my family would have that firsthand account saved, and turned it into a column. more
There should be a warning on this column because it’s graphic, and if your stomach is as weak as mine, perhaps you should turn back now and save yourself. more
It appears that some in the wine industry are coming down from the stars, returning to earth and realizing that for the average wine consumer, the rising prices of their wines are having a devastating effect on an entire industry. more
Last week, the Missouri State High School Activities Association ruled that the young ladies of Houston High School’s volleyball team must forfeit their win in the Class 2 District 8 championship. Despite an appeal, the MSHSAA decreed that the Lady Tigers could not advance to sectional play against Stover. more
On my desk, there are three essential things – my laptop, a computer mouse, and a no-frills, lined pad of paper. Without the computer and mouse, nothing could get done. But without that humble pad of paper where I scribble my to-do list, I wouldn’t remember what needed doing in the first place. more
I have often been asked what my favorite wine is. I truly do not have a favorite wine. My having a favorite wine would be unfair to the readers and would definitely color my reviews. There are, however, varieties that are of interest to me, one among which is the pinot noir. I like that red wine variety for its smoothness, its multifaceted flavor and aroma spectrum and that faint hint of incense that is often found in the finish. more
Yes, you read that word right, and since it’s very close to the word Halloween, you might have thought it was supposed to be because they share the same root — which means “to make holy or consecrate.” About the only other time people use that word anymore is in the traditional beginning of the Lord’s Prayer: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name.” While holy isn’t the first (or even 31st) thing that comes to most people’s minds in connection with Halloween, there it is, regardless. more
I’m trying to teach myself how to crochet (again). more
Autumn is a favorite season for many gardeners and there is still plenty to keep us busy. We have yet to have a killing frost, so many plants are continuing to produce, although slower. Those that need heat, such as tomatoes and peppers, will struggle to set new blossoms, and fruit will ripen slowly. Cooler-season crops like broccoli and spinach will enjoy the lower temperatures. more
Fame, glory, and self-exaltation are prevailing messages in our world. Displayed in movies, books, music and public discourse, the effects of this message – to exalt oneself above all else – can permeate our relationships with often devastating consequences. more
Rules, rules and more rules: there are rules for almost everything, some of which must be followed and some which should be followed. Wine is in the same class as there are rules on serving, pouring, storing, the bottle shape, the "proper” glasses, the stopper and on and on ad infinitum. more
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