And to all a good drink! 🙂
A little bit about me is that I grew up in a small town in East Texas. If you happen to be a fan of The Big Bang Theory, then I can say with much confidence that every jab and snide remark Sheldon Cooper makes about his mother and his East Texas relatives are true. More than true. Every time I laugh hysterically at another East Texas remark Sheldon makes, I can’t help but immediately wonder how much of it is based on Jim Parsons’ real life and his raising. Even more so, I think about Jim, who is only a couple years older than me, being raised in the same era as me and his Spring, TX area high school of Kline Oaks which is only a few miles away from my current neighborhood. When someone mentions how funny Sheldon’s mother is (played by Laurie Metcalf), I tell them with a straight face that if they want to meet my mother, look at Sheldon’s mom. Seriously. Sheldon’s family is the closest representation to my family I can claim of anyone on television. In a show FULL of stereotypical parental archetypes, BBT gets it right.
So, growing up in East Texas it shouldn’t surprise many that I grew up in a Southern Baptist Conservative family. Let me just say first that I love my family. Every weird quirk and contradiction – I love ‘em. But, Southern Baptists are special people. Since the list of what makes them special can go on and on, I’ll limit it to one in particular, and that is drinking. As I sat with my bottle of 19 Crimes this evening, I began thinking about how drinking never occurred in my family. And if it did, it remained locked up and was kept a secret (meaning only certain distant cousins did it and we didn’t associate with them anyway.) Being that my family didn’t drink, I grew up very naïve to alcohol and the wonders of a good drink. My biggest exposure to alcohol came in the form of John Hughes movies and the massive parties my goody-goody friends never had. Mixed drinks were had at the clubs on Friday nights, (which despite being raised in a college town, I never frequented that scene). Wine was served only if you went to Italian restaurants (which there were none). Champaign only came out during promotions or marriage proposals. And in my small little world of East Texas, there were no occasions for that. I knew nothing about drinking and I’m so sad about that.
As a grown up, and more importantly, when I made the conscience decision to drink, I was amazed at all that I came to find out. I was like a babe in the woods. I tried mixed drinks – anything with fruit involved got my attention. I tried the cheap stuff too. Who hasn’t had a broke-college-student-willing-to-try-Thunderbird moment? As I got older, I learned that I really was a wine person. As I came into my own as a wine connoisseur, I made further discoveries that still boggle my mind. Did you know that some people have wine with dinner almost every night? (can you read my sarcasm here?) Did you know that some people buy wine by the case? Bourbon by the case? Whiskey by the case? Whisky, whiskey and ouisge? Did you know that there are specialty stores that sell these types of liquors that have paved and LIGHTED parking lots, is not located on the county line, does not share a parking lot with a strip club, the patrons dress well in suits and business attire, they aren’t trying to barter with the cashier for a discount and there isn’t a homeless man on the sidewalk by the door asking you to buy him something to help with the chill? Did you know that there are custom designed cabinetries specifically designed for holding your wine and spirits collection? And goodness me, don’t get me started on the different types of glasses and stemware. I had a lot to learn, obviously. The world of alcohol was massive and more complex than I ever imagined. And I needed to learn fast.
I did my share of trying out wines and different hard liquors. To save this story from being any longer than it needs be, I finally discovered what wines are more suited for me and that my favorite hard liquor is rum. I proudly display it on a cabinet I have in my house, along with my Champaign glasses, shot glasses and some empty space patiently awaiting some crystal ware (for that whiskey I bought in Ireland that I haven’t opened yet.) When I go to a party, I consult the hostess about what I should bring and I pick out a spirit to bring along. When I go to holiday dinners at my aunt’s house (who is German, thank God by the way, because Germans don’t shy away from alcohol) I always bring the right kind of wines to accompany our meals. And our small family enjoys it. Until another relative shows up. At which point all hilarity and hell breaks loose. For example, this past Thanksgiving, I brought the wines, my brother brought the beers and vodka, my fiancé brought the mead, my cousin (half-German) brought the Champaign and we had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with our preferred drinks of choice. That is until my mother spotted her sister in the driveway and she hustled faster than I’ve seen any septuagenarian with a recent full knee replacement ever move. I was amazed that my mother got all the alcohol hidden before my aunt walked in the door. We laughed and teased her relentlessly about it. She still cares that the rest of the family sees us as perfect drink free angels. Apparently we don’t want to be the cousins that are whispered about.
It reminds me of a joke I’ve heard all my life: If you have a drink, what’s the best way to make sure no one drinks it? Punchline: Have two Baptists watch over it. Because they wouldn’t dare drink it in front of the other.
Cheers and Sláinte!
Well, I guess I can say this experiment proved as much as I thought it would. It’s safe to say I had a bad Wine & Write this year. I do fine on a small scale, when I don’t have to commit extra blogging time to my writing and drinking. Yes, I know, I haven’t updated in 3 weeks. I am happy to report I still wrote every day in October. Drinking? Eh, not so much.
Now I have a blog that was meant to highlight my drinking and writing in the month of October and keep me thus motivated, and the month is over. So, what do I do the other 11 months of the year? November has been and always will be dedicated to my camping and debaucherous ways at the Texas Renaissance Festival. That won’t change. However, other good can come out of the rest of the months. Every month will be dedicated to Wining and Writing. I’ll still blog when I try out new wines. I’ll blog when I hit milestones in my writing. I was asked to write a story for an anthology supporting cemeteries in New Orleans and I still have a wine kit to start after Thanksgiving. I see fun and productive times on the horizon.
By the way, I’ve noticed I have a great number of visitors from India! I’m happy to see I’m reaching out and making an international connection. As always, I’m always open to feedback. Thanks for joining me on this crazy ride!
In the meantime, Sláinte and see you in a few weeks.
Betcha thought I gave up on all this? Not a chance.
I admit, when I added a second dimension of blogging to my already busy October Wine & Write, I didn’t realize dementia would actually follow. I’m crazy sometimes when I take on new projects and I always approach it at a highly organized level of unorganized glory. I kinda had a feeling starting off I would have trouble getting around to the daily blogging like I expected, but I’m a trooper so I played it out to see how well I would do. Eh, didn’t turn out quite so well after the fifteenth day. However, blogging aside, my true goals are ALWAYS met, and that is the writing. I’ve still hit my daily goal of writing every day and in the end that’s the accomplishments I love to brag about. Yet, aside from that, I’ve also hit a few other milestones this week that I don’t mind bragging about either. May not seem like much, but they are big to me, so I’ll list a few here.
First, my fiancé, Rob, is a bit of a home brewer. His thing is mead. He loves to drink it, and he loves to brew it. It’s one of the few alcoholic drinks he actually likes. He’s not into beers, not into hard liquors and he gladly leaves the wine to me. I’m proud to say he’s come a long way from where he started last year with combining odd ingredients to get mead. He was literally the Frankenstein of Mead Brewing world (at least in our house). But a year of practice and a year of expensive honey down the drain, he has just about perfected his art of brewing mead. And when I say perfected, I mean I can actually sit down and drink it. Wine snob that I am, I am quite fond of what he’s been coming up with as of late. As much of a non-expert novice wine snob aficionado that I am, I am even less of a mead aficionado. I’ve tried a few brands at the Texas Renaissance Festival, where drunken revelers like myself like to dress up and pretend we’re in the middle ages. It makes for a fun day. But I never thought I would drink it on a daily basis. This new stuff that Rob brewed I could. So I dedicate this evening’s Wine & Write to Rob’s Hooch Sweet Mead. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It’s fizzy, which he still doesn’t know how that bit happened other than the fact he followed the recipe to the T. And after half a bottle I started feeling the effects. He gaged it at about 12-13% alcohol, which is pretty comparable to wine. Half a 12 oz. bottle gave me the same effects as a glass of wine, so I say spot on. He now has about 38 bottles of the stuff, so I think it’s going to be a good faire season this year.
Second, I finished a notebook. I am currently dedicated to a specific kind of 300 page spiral notebook that I can only find at Barnes & Noble. It’s a comfortable size, 22 lines to the page front and back, good paper stock and not to mention, at 300 pages, I can knock out a pretty good chunk of writing with it. I just finished the second one, which I began on Oct. 23rd, 2012. A full year is not a bad pace, although I am striving to get quicker at it. Being that I’m not working right now, I’m sure the next notebook will fill a little quicker. Perhaps that should be my next goal to blog about. I like to think I’m up for the challenge. And I accept, as long as I can keep the carpal tunnel at bay just a little while longer. Also, being that this is the 2nd notebook and I’m almost at the halfway mark, I’m guessing the novel is going take me 4 notebooks to complete. Yes, I do all my original writing by hand (hence, the carpal tunnel) and then edit, edit, edit. I find the thoughts and ideas flow better when I don’t have a computer to distract me (i.e. facebook, blogs, the best of dog shaming, etc) So, here’s to a new fresh virginal notebook that I will fill with all manners of literary greatness.
And third, my 6th story, The Righteous and The Wicked, which appears in Sanitarium Magazine and released on Kindle last week is now available for paperback purchase. I’ve ordered a few copies for my mom so I can’t wait to see what the printed copy looks like. And being that they corrected my name (a lot of editors leave out my middle initial. I wonder if Tolkien had this problem?), I am even more excited to hock it about town. So if you’re interested, check it out. Write a review. Help my name get around. With any luck I can make a career out of this, or at least make a little money to support my fiancé’s mead making hobby. Either way, we all win and we’ll all be happy.
In the meantime, cheers and Sláinte!
I imagine some have noticed I’ve been a little absent as of late. Yes, it’s been a good week since my last post. Or perhaps a bad week, depending on how you look at it. For me, it’s nothing but a case of six in one hand and half a dozen in the other.
When I began this little blog I did question my own ability to keep a daily blog with all of the writing and drinking I usually get done each October. In previous years, I managed quite well. When things go well, why not add another log to the proverbial fire? Believe me, I have a football stadium sized woodshed of logs waiting at any given moment. My ability to deliver everyday blogs, or every other day blogs might not always hit the list before I go to bed at night. That’s okay though. I know at the end of the day that I’ve met my personal goal, and that is writing!
Brief update for this week’s past: Every day I WROTE! On most days I got in about 1000+ words. I want to think Wednesday was such a bad day that I literally only managed 2 sentences. But that’s okay. Again, the Wine & Write is about WRITING EVERY DAY, not accumulating a massive word count. Secondly, I finished ANOTHER chapter. It was a doozy as well. I never thought it would end. So, that’s 4 chapters out of my 9 chapter goal out of the way. Yes, it’s the 20th day of the month and I think that I won’t hit all nine chapters, but I will never be disappointed with myself. As of today, I am 4 chapters further ahead in the novel than I was 20 days ago. Four chapters closer to completing the 58 chapters I currently have outlined. Four chapters closers to finishing a book I’ve been working on for nearly 2 and half years.
Wine: What can I say? I drink my wines when I can, still working on some shirazes and Rieslings. I haven’t opened anything new over the past week, rather just finishing off some already open bottles. Hopefully that will change this week. I promised my fiancé I would dedicate a writing evening to his homemade mead. I wasn’t a mead drinker before he started home brewing. He is doing such a wonderful job of it so far, I absolutely MUST dedicate an evening to him now. He and his mead deserve it.
And as far as non-novel projects go, I am happy to announce today I’m on the cusp of becoming an internationally published writer. A little magazine in the U.K. picked up one of my stories and sent me the PDF of what the Kindle edition will look like. I believe the official release date is tomorrow and I’ll be blogging about it on my author’s blog at www.paperbackwriter28.net then. It’s still not showing up on their website at http://sanitariummagazine.com/, but it seems to already be on sale via amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.
So, yes, productive week, just not a lot to blog about. With any luck, this week will be a little slower and I’ll get back on my regularly scheduled drinking program.
Well, not really. When I drink alcohol, especially wine, I know it has good alcohol content because I start feeling hot all over, to the point I really, REALLY want to take my shirt off. The same effect comes from hard liquors and other spirits, but not nearly the same as wine, more specifically Riesling.
I’m still recovering from the weekend. Having the mother ship stay with me for 3 days does take its toll on me. In the evenings when I finally get a little time to myself I have to decide if I spend my last hour awake working on the novel or blogging. Sorry, but writing the novel will get my vote each time. Hence, this blog update coming a few days late.
I really do love my mom. She raised my brothers and me the best she knew how and I consider us pretty well-adjusted adults – Well-adjusted adults who like to DRINK! As soon as my brother drops her off, we are throwing down shots and mixing whatever cocktails I have in my modest liquor cabinet. I didn’t get much wine consuming done, but I did have lots of shots of Frangelico, Cuba Libres, more buttery nipples, mead and we dared my mom to try the Ouzo we can’t get rid of. Other than a nice birthday dinner and a little shopping, I had a somewhat mundane weekend.
Despite having birthday celebrations and my momz around, I managed to get about 1200 words written on Saturday night. It was also the night that I finished the 3rd chapter of my 9 chapter goal. It was pretty awesome stuff. Last night I got started on the 4th and managed to get about 900 words out of the way. Still pretty proud if I do say so myself.
Tonight was the night I attempted to get a few things back to normal. I prepared a pretty decent meal for my fiancé and myself of tilapia fish with steamed beans and topped it off with a nice glass of Riesling. This is the Riesling I really like. It’s called Hogue Late Harvest Riesling. It’s very sweet indeed. I usually use about a cup of it to marinade my fish with (along with lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper). The flavor that the marinade brings out in the fish combined with sips of the wine in between bites is like a party in my mouth. It’s what wine and food pairings is all about. Yes, I know I’m still a novice at this, but when I find something that works I like to stick with it. I’m not a goddess in the kitchen like I am with my writings, but I do try. Afterward, I get to settle in with 2 shows I’ve recently become addicted to: Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist. What can I say, James Spader has been making me squishy in the nether region for 2 decades already and the 20-teens aren’t much different.
After posting this blog, I will slip into my P.J.s (or maybe not, the Riesling is still working. Or maybe it’s James Spader) and get down to some more writing tonight. My goal tonight is 1000. I’m quite confident I’ll hit it.
In the meantime, Sláinte and goodnight!
The last two days have been rather uneventful, to say the least. I’ve been gearing up for a visit from my mom this weekend for our combined birthdays. She turns 70 and I turn 28 for the XXth time in a row. It’s true, I get odd stares as people make the connection of how can a 70-year-old have such a young-looking daughter. I just tell them I was a late in life child (which isn’t far off). There’s also scientific proof that the age difference is why she has such an awesomely talented daughter. (I know a scientist who will claim that if I give him enough alcohol).
All that aside, my last couple of days have been filled with pretty mundane stuff. I’ve been cleaning my house for my mom’s arrival, drinking my wine and writing in the evenings. Yesterday I got about 800 words done and tonight I think I got about 500. This weekend will be slim, in writing. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about my waistline. But, my goal is always the same. I will write every day no matter what outside activities I have planned. That’s my commitment to myself. Not to mention, I’m almost finished with the 3rd chapter in my goal.
You know, I’m just now realizing I’m lying about most of this. In between all the mundane stuff I’ve been dealing with, I did receive a notice from http://sanitariummagazine.com/ magazine that they picked up one of my stories to publish in a few weeks! So yay and more on that later 🙂
So, there we go. Exciting stuff to break up my mundane existence today. In closing, I will say good night until Sunday, but I will leave a sneak peek topic of future blog posts. This is my birthday present from my fiancé. Yep, that’s a wine making kit. He ordered a Riesling kit to go along with it and it just hasn’t come in yet. So, I’m quite sure I’ll be starting on this in the next week or two. Sláinte indeed!
Yes, I know I didn’t get a blog out last night. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not. It was all with good reason. Some days you just have to let the fates have their way and declare to yourself, “today I’m going to write, and I’m going to drink a lot. And in the middle of it all, I’m going to attempt to make homemade sushi.”
Most people would react in horror at the thought of homemade sushi as they might react to hearing you’re going to perform homemade lasik surgery. When it comes to sushi, it’s best to leave it to the experts, and with good reason. Sushi isn’t just something you decide to make one day, like pancakes, a hamburger or a pizza. There are schooled professionals out there who spend a lot of time learning the fine craft of sushi making. They have specialized equipment. They have a plethora of ingredients and more than anything, they’ve most likely just killed the fish that is going on your favorite roll. They know what flavor combinations work, they know how much of a dollop of spice to add to make your spicy tuna spicy. They have the perfect rice, with the perfect rice cooker for the job. They have fresh fish roe, that awesome spicy mayo stuff and the little sprinkling of things which I haven’t the first clue about. They mix the perfect wasabi that’s just hot enough to clear your sinuses during allergy season. They are the experts, and that is why we pay good money at sushi restaurants to feast on the manna from heaven they prepare for us. So why would I stomp on that sacred and coveted tradition and attempt to make sushi at home? Hell, the biggest attraction of going out for sushi is that you can brag to your friends on Facebook that you’re going out for sushi. It means for that brief hour and a half in your rather mundane or uneventful day you are breaking from the rest of the world to experience a customized meal of cut bait as you listen to the dulcet sounds of J-pop while sitting at a table that is walled with a giant fish aquarium and if you’re really luck, take in the calming scenery of wall to wall potted bamboo plants. Such an experience gives you 2 hours of bragging rights over the non sushi eaters. “I’m evolved because I eat raw fish like the Japanese culture. And I’m an expert at using my chopsticks as well. I’m the cool person you wish you were.” Don’t get mad, you know you’ve done it. I’ve done it too.
So again, why would I want to deny myself the pleasure of everything I just said? Answer: Because it’s fun.
The festivities began when my friends showed up with 3 bags of groceries. As I marveled at all the ingredients that would be going into our sushi and getting giddy over the thought of eating sushi (as if I don’t eat it twice a week already) she pulls from her bag a bottle of Cuervo and buttery nipple shots. I know already it’s going one of THOSE nights.
I already had ingredients of my own, including sushi rice I picked up from my local white bred grocery store, wasabi, ginger, and then nori and the thin fileted salmon my fiancé picked up from the Korean market down in Houston. My friend brought crab, carrots, cucumber and avocado. After cooking a large portion of rice, we prepped the bamboo roller mat by putting it in a ziplock bag to keep it clean, laid out the nori and spread out the rice. I will say at this place in the experiment, I realized next time I buy sushi rice I will go to an Asian market as opposed to the international aisle and my local grocer. The rice was a little too sticky and really way too gooey for my liking. From there, we placed our topings, really just anything that we thought would taste good. The end result, after cooking nearly 3 cups of rice, we ended up with about 10 traditional rolls, 2 inside out rolls and about 7 pieces of rice rolls with sliced salmon. Other than the fact I wasn’t pleased with the quality of the rice, I still thought they came out good. I stuck with my salmon, cucumber and avocado varieties (I don’t eat crab) while my friend and my fiancé stuck with the crab and veggie rolls. After a little soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi , I was pleased, and quickly full. Now, nothing beats what I get at some of my favorite sushi places in NW Houston, but it was great for the effort. I will definitely try this again, but next time I want to experiment with tuna, (I found a recipe for the spicy tuna mix), unagi, and perhaps shrimp. At this point, I can only get better at this.
As far as the wine portion goes, we had our shots so that covered my alcohol consumption for the evening. As far as the writing, I think I only accomplished about 400 words. But I more than made up for it this evening. Tonight was leftover night, so it was barbecue sandwiches with a glass of my Woop Woop Shiraz. It must have been the winning combination because I got 1900 words written and ended the second chapter in my nine chapter goal. Whoop whoop indeed!
October is going strong. So, just keep it up. I would still love to hear if other writers are participating in Wine & Write with me and what their experiences are, especially if you’re making any breakthrus with writing. Remember, even a few words a day can help start that habit. The habit is the key. You don’t have to produce a best seller, just start a routine and stick with it. I’m so grateful I did this three years ago.
Cheers and Sláinte again!
Seriously, what good really comes out of Monday? I wake up in the morning and everything feels like any other day of the week to me until I get to Facebook and see the barrage of posts about it being another Monday and how most people in the general population want to commit homicide against the day itself. (What is that, diemcide?) I’m fortunate that I’m not currently working, so Mondays do literally come and go unnoticed by me. Unfortunately, not for my fiancé, but I know the day is different when I wake up in the morning and I’m suddenly alone. It’s the chance I get to capre diem solo and see what kind of procrastination I can get up to.
Don’t get me wrong, when I was working Monday’s were the worst. I was always late to work, I dragged ass until Tuesday afternoon and was on the verge of slitting my wrists. But that had more to do with the fact that I loathed my job, (the entire reason I quit, actually, but that’s another day, another blog). But these days, not so much. I know I have to get things accomplished on Mondays to ensure my household keeps running and my fiancé isn’t stressing about anything. It’s a chore, but one that I do happily and gratefully.
So, what does Wine & Write bring us on this Monday? Answer: a lot of productivity, actually. After making a rather awesome BBQ pull pork dinner in the crock pot, I ate my spicy BBQ sandwich with a glass of the Nemea I brought home from the Greek Festival yesterday. All in all, it blends well with spicy, beefy meals. I need to see what else I can pair it with this week so I can finish off the bottle before it goes bad (red wines turn to vinegar quickly in my house). After, I dedicated two hours to my modest Monday night TV viewing, consisting of Sleepy Hollow and James Spader’s new drama, The Blacklist. Sleepy Hollow is turning out to be a great bit of fun. Nice horror and gore take on a classic legend and a nice combination of a bit of tall, dark and British (Tom Mison) to keep me going. The Blacklist, however, is still a bit of a struggle. I love, Love, LOVE James Spader and his top notch acting chops brings me to anything he utters a syllable in, however, I’m having trouble staying interested in the other characters in his new show. He needs an evil nemesis whose acting ability and on screen chemistry is equally comparable. Shall I dare hope William Shatner is available?
Either way, awesome James Spader with bad supporting cast television aside, I got about 2000 words written tonight and about halfway through this current chapter. With any luck I’ll finish it tomorrow. In the meantime, keep writing, keep the wine flowing and I’d love to hear from others who are taking part in the challenge with me.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Greek, Houston, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, NANO, Nia Vardalos, October Wine & Write, Published, Short Stories, The Original Greek Festival, Wine, Write, Writer, Writing
It seems the weekends are going to be a bit of a trick for me, at least on the blogging side. Although I did stick to my goal of getting some writing done last night (only about 400 words unfortunately), and I did have a glass of wine (finished off the Chateau Ste. Michelle), I didn’t get around to blogging about it. My typical Saturday is dedicated to big household chores and spending time with friends, so when I got home last after spending an evening at a friend’s engagement party, I enjoyed a nice hour sitting in lawn chairs with my fiancé, feeling the breeze float over my body and enjoyed that big Texas sky. It’s been a while since he and I have had a nice evening just to relax, look at the stars, hold hands and chat about silly things. It was nice. And I soon needed a blanket. Typical Texas weather.
Today was another perfect day indeed. The first weekend of October in Houston means The Original Greek Festival presented by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. It’s everything Greek you can think of: music, dancing, arts, crafts, ouzo candy, coin skirts on kids, and some of the best Greek food this side of the Mediterranean. Opa! It’s the only church festival in the city that has an official beer sponsor. And for that we say, Go Greek! A lot of people attend the festival because it is a great way for the church to raise money while sharing a bit of culture, but most of us go for the food. Upon arrival, my fiancé and I, along with some friends made a bee-line for the food tent, where we picked up a dinner plate consisting of pastitsio, tiropita, spanakopita, keftedes and salata. It’s some of the best eating I get all year. Usually when I go to outdoor festivals like this, I tend to stick with water to keep myself properly hydrated. However, I broke with tradition this year and bought a bottle of wine instead. It’s Wine & Write month for me, after all, so why not try a nice bottle of red with my delicious meal. I picked up a bottle of Nemea, straight from Greece. It’s a little dryer than my usual liking. It mixed well with our lunch, but I’m interested in finding other food parings with it as I finish the bottle this week. I paid $25 for the bottle, which as we know the prices are always inflated for outdoor festivals. I’m interested in going to one of our better wine stores in Houston to see what other Greek wines they carry and try out another red or two that’s not so dry. I lost my taste for reds for a few years, and now that I’m back on reds, I’m always interested in finding flavorful new ones.
After coming home, and digging through our box of baklava, I felt a sudden need to watch a Nia Vardalos movie. I popped in My Life in Ruins and vegged on the couch for 2 hours while sipping a cup of afternoon tea. I highly recommend this movie. It has all the great humor of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and a little eye candy in the form of Poopi Kakas. Watch it, especially for the beach scene.
For my writing tonight, I completed roughly 1000 words, but more importantly, I finished my first chapter in my nine chapter goal! Opa! I’m making progress, so I consider it a productive weekend. I’m ready to keep up the momentum as we make it into another week and another bottle or two.