Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I have yet to find my local sommelier...

If you know me, you know where I like to shop for wine in my old hood. I never had a bad bottle there--a couple labels were deadly to Sean, but they weren't bad--and I could always count on them for the best recommendations. And they gave you a glass while you shopped.

Here? Notsomuch.

Me: Yes, I'm looking for a nice bottle of red for a stuffed leg of lamb for Easter dinner. Do you have any suggestions?

Dude Working the counter of the wine and spirits store. (Which doesn't smell like wine, or fruit or oak barrels. It smells like wet cement and broken dreams.) ?

Me: (Thinking his confusion was the menu.) Well, it's stuffed with a homemade sausage and rosemary stuffing with scallion and a hint of orange zest. I then wrap it in pastry and roast for another 45 minutes.

Dude: Fascinating. Let me check. (Consults laminated placard behind register.) Looks like Merlot will do it. (Rhymes with Mer-snot.)

Me: That says "ham," not "lamb."

Dude: (Squinting.) So it does. You want me to find a bottle?

Me: I think I can take it from here.

I'm kind of glad they didn't offer me a glass of Mersnot while I shopped..

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April showers bring May dollars

Negotiating with landscapers was so much simpler in Florida than it is in the north....

SD: So what’s all that green stuff all over the yard?

Landscaper: Um, grass....

SD: Well that’s weird. It certainly doesn’t look like the grass I’m used to in Florida. Are you allowed to walk on it?

Landscaper: Yes, that is its designed purpose.

SD: Barefoot with no threat of lacerations or tetanus?

Landscaper: I’ve never heard of anyone getting lockjaw from a shoeless stroll in Kentucky Bluegrass, so I think you’d be okay.

SD: Wow. What about this? (Pointing to dead brown things under bushes.)

Landscaper: Ma’am, those are leaves.

SD: Even I know that! But what are they doing all over the ground?

Landscaper: Um, they fell from the trees back in the fall like they tend to do every year. For another $500 we can clean them up for you.

SD: Seems a little steep for something you know is going to happen every year....

Landscaper: Where’d you say you were from again? Jupiter?

SD: No, silly, that’s on the other coast. Now, I want to ask you about these trees over here. I already know they’re Bradford Pears, but so far they haven’t produced any fruit. They may need to be replaced.

Landscaper: They are not like citrus trees, they don’t actually grow edible pears.

SD: Great. And now I suppose those Japanese Maples aren’t going to produce wasabi syrup?

Landscaper: No, and the dogwoods won’t be having puppies either.

SD: (Scowling.) Well, since you’re also an apparent expert in animal husbandry, maybe you could tell me what’s hatching over here in the flower bed?

Landscaper: (Looking closely.) Ma’am, that’s a tulip. (Shaking head.) Don’t tell me you don’t have any spring bulbs down there? Crocuses? Irises?

SD: (Thinking.) We have bullfrogs and cataract surgery. Look, this is as fruitless (and disappointing) as that mimosa tree I had back in Tampa. Can you just give me a price on yard maintenance until I can learn my way around?

Landscaper writes numbers furiously on the back of a seed packet.

SD: (Choking back a sob.) Well, at least I know why weeping willows thrive here.

©2011 Tracey Henry

Divamail me the Burpee seed catalog!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Because we hate cancer and love the playoffs

Beard-a-thon, Baby!

Some good has to come out of this beard thing-- vote for Sean's beard and/or pledge some $ to help fight cancer if you can.

P.S. If you love the playoffs, hate cancer and have a particular fondness for Yukon Cornelius, then make another vote for the Intern's beard.....


Monday, April 11, 2011

B Kind 2 Earth Day--April 22

Coming from a place of green alligators and long-necked geese, we are more than a little curious as to what native critters are in these parts.

In addition to the coyote I know I saw driving home late one night, (either that or dogs are really big here and they have lax leash laws) there are a lot of birds, squirrels, and horses. (Which I’m not sure are technically “native” but act like they own the place, so there you go.) There are also a number of trees, flowers and plant life that look vaguely familiar, but it’s been a decade since I’ve seen a tulip growing in the spring.

That’s why to celebrate B Kind 2 Earth Day on April 22, the kids and I will be visiting our local nature center at Warner Park to learn more about and appreciate our local flora and fauna.

Liking the B Kind to Earth Day page on Facebook is your way of making a commitment to be kind to our planet in your own way. It can be a trip to the nature center, or riding your bike or cloth instead of paper or plastic. Filling a bird feeder or planting a garden or whatever your family chooses to be conscious and kind to our earth on this special day. There are many fantastic partners in this cause, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to make a difference.

So like it, love it and be a part of it.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Suburban Diva's Top 5 Country Stars Based Nothing on Music But Only My Warped Sense of Priorities:

5. Barbara Mandrell. I met her and she made a very witty joke while she was drinking something with a lime in it. We could totally hang.

4. Kenny Chesney because he brings me hundreds of hits on my blog everyday.

3. Alan Jackson. He's my neighbor and it's always 5 o'clock on our street.

2. Carrie Underwood. Her husband Mike Fisher is an awesome hockey player who is going to help bring the Cup to Nashville.

And my new number one favorite?

Kix Brooks. Country music legend, Preds fan, and gentleman. AND HE OWNS HIS OWN WINERY.

(Note to Garth Brooks or Brad Paisley: You could totally take over the number one position with a cupcake stand and decent Margarita mix.)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


One of the very best parts of living in Nashville are the slumber parties.

That's what I call the sudden influx of overnight visitors, anyhow.

Back in Florida we really didn't have the room to house the many guests that travelled south to Disney or the beach. Here, the living quarters are a bit larger so that everyone who comes bunks down for the weekend and we can have fun 24 hours a day.

This past weekend we had a dozen more added to our seven (don't forget the Intern), and every weekend in April we will be having people come in who we would not normally get to spend so much time with. Team that with hockey games and events like wine-tastings and concerts, and Nashville weekends become very special. Busy and sleepless, but special.

If I could just find a wine vendor and a take-out BBQ spot to keep up with our entertaining demands, life would damn near be perfect two days a week.