Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Backyard Activity

Cardinal on backyard fence. The nest is in neighbor's tree. The song is lovely.
I found these shoes at a resale shop. They reminded me of the black "Granny" boots I saw filled with shamrocks on the front stoop of a little shop in Ireland. These aren't shamrocks, but I think they still look cute.
Anybody know which are weeds to be pulled? I can't tell what's what. I inherited this bird and butterfly garden when I bought this house, and I've let it grow into an awful state. I simply do not know what is meant to stay and what needs to go. Does anyone recognize some definite 'pull mes"?
I spent a long time taking photos of a feeding session in my backyard earlier this month. The activity wore me out! The house is now empty. The babies (three of them) have obviously flown off now.
Big hungry baby.
Hello-ooo! I'm waiting!

Still waiting...
Hey, Pipsqueak! I'm the dad here. I'm not listening to you. Learn your manners.
Mama's love is strong.
Listen to me!
Dad with two of the three.
Mama told me to lay low til she got back.
I'm hungry! Bring more next time.
Mama didn't tell me there'd be days like this.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bourbon Trail Revisited - sort of

Sandy and I made a Girls' Day Out of heading back to the Bourbon Trail. But we didn't explore distilleries. Instead we explored Versailles, KY's quaint historic area. Beautiful old homes and quaint shops. (Maybe quaint enough to be called 'shoppes'.)

Here are a few pix from our tours of the shoppes in Versailles (rhymes not with the city in France, but with Her + white sheet-like devices on boats that catch the wind and make hem go.)

The farm store - right in the heart of the historic district.
(No, we didn't go inside the farm store. we went to the antique mall across the street.)

The Pretty Pink shop - a boutique with fun jewelry and more.
Our lunch at Lite Side on Main Cafe. Half of a BLT and a lovely spinach salad. Not pictured, but definitely part of the deliciousness was the pumpkin bread with cream cheese. Yum! And bar none, the people in Versailles were SO nice!
My miscalculation enabled us to drive past "The Castle" - twice! (Sorry, Sandy, but you have to admit, it was worth the short detour.)

And here is our precious angel Jace the night before when we babysat while Sandy went to her photo-session. The boy DOES get in to Pappy's spaghetti in a big uninhibited way! (Even a messy mess, he is still his Jamma's dollbaby.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Finally getting around to posting some images from our tour of three distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail on May 31st.

Beth Karecki and her sister Mary invited me to go on the Kentucky Bourbon Tour with them on May 31st, the day before they returned to Oregon. It's practically in my backyard, but I had never been before. We toured only three of the six, and it took all day. We started at Four Roses, which we easily deemed the prettiest with its buildings' Spanish Hacienda styling.

The Lady Mary enjoying a swing.

Here is an interesting looking tank at Four Roses.

A multi-lingual sign at Four Roses.

The tasting at Four Roses was the most thorough. I think we tried three or four. I worried about getting too buzzed to go on. Straight bourbon is not exactly my drink of choice, but - when in Rome!

Our next stop was the Wild Turkey Distillery. This bourbon was super strong. Not my favorite. I did like the bourbon liqueur American Honey. It's good enough to eat on ice cream. I also liked the chocolate and lemonade available at their tasting.

We met the Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell, and actually got to see him at work. We later heard that was a rare sighting.

Here is Jimmy flanked by Mary and Beth.

What a Job!

That's a lotta turkey!

Wild Turkey's robust yeast fermentation. Day 2.

We ended up at the smallest and classiest looking place - and the most expensive. Woodford Reserve, owned by Brown and Forman Distillers.

The brewer's sip.
Some empties.

Fat Cat at Woodford.

Here is a shot of yeast fermenting at Woodford. It makes a difference if it's day 1, 2 or 3. Quite a difference to the yeast we saw and smelled at Wild Turkey.

We had to pay for our tour at Woodford. The others were free. The tasting was only okay, but the bourbon balls were fantastic! Unfortunately, they'd closed the luncheon counter early and we missed lunch.

We met interesting people on the tour. Here is Tudor Clee from New Zealand. He had been in the US for the Ky. Derby, in Indy for the 500, and was waiting for the Belmont Stakes in New York. He'd toured all six distilleries and proclaimed Booker's, a small batch bourbon by Jim Beam, and Elijah Craig from Heaven Hill to be the best. His third favorite was the favorite of ours from the three we'd toured, Four Roses. He said he liked Maker's Mark tour the best. Looks like I have three more to visit!

These guys were at Wild Turkey. I couldn't resist asking the question, "What is Vragelism?" Their friend Vragel turned around to demonstrate the tee shirt image. Apparently he (Vragel) is well known among his friends for his witticisms or malaprops or something. "He just says funny things." He said he couldn't do it on command. He never knew they were coming until people told him they were there. We never heard him utter anything extraordinary, but they were three nice, good-humored guys.

Meet Jeremy, Dan and Justin.