Erin Go Braugh at the Cabin


Wine Women of West Virginia had their cabin weekend starting on St Patrick’s Day.  We unanimously agreed that we had to change our name. The reasoning behind the name change is we no longer just drink wine. To be honest we never just drank wine but our main focus was wine.  Our five year mission was to seek out new bottles of wine, to discover wines other than chardonnay and merlot, to boldly go where we had not gone before.  Ok so that sounds a little like Star Trek but it works.

So back to our name change. It is a work in progress.  I was thinking the Wise Women of West Virginia.  What do you all think?

Our five year mission was a success.  We found many, many, many wines that we liked and have a list of ones we love. In the coming posts I will spotlight the really good ones. But women can not live by bread and wine alone.  So we have a new mission to create drinks with spirits and when I say spirits I mean vodka, gin and whiskey!  Some of those drinks were introduced this weekend.  The theme was green.  It’s not easy being green and it’s not easy making green drinks that taste good but I do believe our resident bartenders came up with two very good ones which I will share in a later post.

Aside from drinking being at the cabin helps all of us fill our energy tanks.  Mine was exceptionally low.  But as we drove up the mountain, I could feel the tension draining.  For me there is nothing that compares to the energy the mountains hold.  Being March the weather was very unsettled.  One day it snowed which made my heart sing.  Looking out onto the tree lined mountains I watched the snow gently falling.  The smell of the air was crisp.  I think snow smells great.  People think I am crazy when I say that but when it snows the air just smells different. Whatever, I loved it.  We made a fire and sat around and laughed with a glass of wine in our hand.  So Great.

One thing that was a little disappointing was that Saturday steak night was canceled due to rain.  Torrential ran so lighting a fire in the fire pit was so out of the question.  But we did manage to have our Friday Pizza night and there were some new and fantastic pizza creations.  I will need to pull together the ingredients and share.


Decorating is not just for Christmas


I walked into Harris Teeter on Halloween Eve.  I panicked .  I didn’t think I bought enough candy. I figured I would run in and pick up a few bags and be home in time for trick or treat.  Shockingly all the Halloween candy was gone and in its place Christmas stuff.  Don’t get me wrong I love the holiday season.  I love singing Christmas Carols in my car where no one can hear me.  But October 31?  Couldn’t they wait until at least November 1st?

Anyway I asked my wine women about decorating for seasons other than Christmas and Pam came up with some great thoughts on how to transition from Halloween through Thanksgiving. Here is her take:

“My particular slant for fall decor would have to be called versatility.  I’m probably not alone in having a hard time keeping up with the changing seasons this time of year since it comes rapid fire – September (which I consider as the fall kickoff), October/Halloween, and November/Thanksgiving.  It seems that you just get your September decorations up when – hello! – Halloween is here.  That’s why I have embraced pumpkins.  We all have those spots that are our ‘changing stations’.  You know, the place where you put the seasonal switch-a-roo most often.
In addition to pumpkins which can span all 3 months, I have some versatile decorations that perform double or even triple duty.  Here’s a simple example.  I made these simple pumpkins out of 1” pine scraps.  On 1 side, they are just pumpkins.  On the other side, they are jack-o-lanterns.  The consistent item is the candles.
jack-o-lanterns    pumpkins
I also recommend including background changes.  Here’s another ‘changing station’ with the pumpkins being the consistent item and some interchangeable accessories and alternating wall hanging of the month starting with September and moving into November:”
sept  oct    nov

So that is how Pam decorates for the Fall season.

Did I mention that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year.  The weather is still great.  It involves no requirement to buy gifts.  A meal with my family is always involved. This year will be a little different.  My Mom will not be with us.  Well I should clarify that she won’t physically be with us but she will be there in spirit.  She has passed the torch to me to keep the traditions going.  A very large task and and very big shoes to fill.  I will do my best.

I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving, spending time with friends or family or both.


Almost Heaven West Virginia


Margarita Maggie(Peg) makes our West Virginia weekends possible.  She and her husband Dan own this beautiful cabin up on the mountains.

The first time she invited us girls to the cabin we were expecting to rough it.  We all had our thermal sleeping bags and long underwear and we were a caravan going up the mountain.  When we turned of in the middle of nowhere we drove on this dirt road and at the end was this beautiful “cabin”.  Actually it is a beautiful house that surprisingly enough holds lots of people really comfortably.

The first night there we drank margaritas and ate pizza.  Peg officially became Margarita Maggie that weekend. In addition to Peg receiving her nickname a tradition was started. Pizza night became the first night of the weekend.  Stayed tuned for more on Pizza.

I remember waking up to watch the sunrise over the mountains.  They have a deck on the back of their house and all you see is miles and miles of tree lined mountains. I never felt more at peace than I did the first time I watched the sunrise that first  morning. All I can say is Almost heaven West Virginia.

West Virginia, Mountain Mama


We all love West Virginia. The mountains there are spectacular.  When I go and spend a weekend I feel re-energized.  It is magical.  But no one in our group is more connected to West Virginia than our very own Mountain Mama.  She was born and raised there.

She and her husband have been away from West Virginia for awhile but every now and then you can here the West Virginia accent creep into her speech.

She raises chickens, she is a bee keeper and a master gardener.

Funny story.  She went away for a weekend and asked Martini Marge to come over and make sure the chickens were back in the hen house.  Marge called on me and Dazzling Diane to help her with the farm work.  Ha!

It was a beautiful night so we cracked open a bottle of wine and sat by her beautiful pool.  Finally we decided to get the chickens back in the coop.  So there we were slightly tipsy trying to get these chickens to cooperate.  My job was to get this little chicken into the house.  He name is Gracie and she had me running all over the farm and through the gardens.  Finally that little devil decided she was tired and just walked right into the coop.   Or maybe it wasn’t because she was tired but because I told her the fox would get her if she didn’t get inside. All I could do was say Goodnight Gracie.

I am city girl for God sake.  The only time I saw a chicken was in the grocery store in the refrigerated section.

The moral of the story don’t drink and tend chickens.