The $156,000 Bottle of Vinegar!

** I published this piece 3 years ago and I thought it was worth sharing again.  Enjoy!  Darlene

             The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

I love this story!  As most of you are aware, I am a red wine drinker.  I love wine, and I love all the nuances that go along with a particular bottle of wine.  I love to know when and where the grapes were picked, how it was aged, etc.   A few years back, I even took a vacation to the Napa Valley in California, and spent a week visiting vinyards and asking lots of questions.  By far my best vacation, and I plan to go back one day.

One evening as I was enjoying a particular good glass of wine, I wondered about the ‘Most Expensive Wine’ ever sold.  I come to find out it was in 1985, when Malcome Forbes paid $156,000 for a bottle of 1787 Chateau Lafitte Bordeaux,  believed to have been in the wine cellar of Thomas Jefferson.  (The 3rd President of the United States and the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence).   The sale of this bottle of wine was the subject of a book by Benjamin Wallace called ‘The Billionaire’s Vinegar”.  You see, the wine is undrinkable.  It is basically vinegar in a bottle.  But still, it is believed to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson at one point.

The discoverer of the bottle was Hardy Rodenstock, a pop-band manager turned wine collector with a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors about the bottle soon arose. Why wouldn’t Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret?  This is what the book is about, and I will definitely be adding it to my collection.

Enjoy the fermented grape!


Great Reading!

The Moonlit Cage: A Novel      Dark Summer    File:Sail (Novel) Book Cover.jpg

As you are aware if you read my blog, I have been travelling for work quite frequently.  There fore, between planes and hotel rooms, I have been doing a fair bit of reading.  I wanted to pass along some of my favorites from the past two months.

The Moonlit Cage – by Linda Holeman.  I loved this book.  It’s a story that grabs you, and you feel like you personally know this woman.  I first read ‘The Linnet Bird’ by Linda Holeman and loved it enough to pick up this one.  The Moonlit cage is one of my new favorites.  It is the story of Darya, an Afghan woman and the tragedies she has endured and the courage she has to break the bonds of what can only be called Slavery!  She breaks free of a life that included torture, abuse and how Afghan women are considered second class citizens.  Pick it up.

Dark Summer – by Iris Johansen.  I have read most of Iris Johansen’s books, except for the real early romancey stuff.  This is a thriller, that once you read the first page, kiss your family goodbye for the day, cause you ain’t going to be able to put it down.  I love a good thriller, and this book doesn’t disappoint.

Sail – James Patterson.  This was one of my favorites from James Patterson.  I know, once you’ve read 40 of his books, sometimes you can get a little… what’s the word I’m looking for… bored, but not bored.  Anyway, like I said, one of my favorites, and I have read all of James Patterson books.  I enjoy them, and I love the short chapters.  This is the story of the Dunne family and how they set sail on a boat to take a vacation and try to mend the family.  It turns into a life lesson as they are faced with danger.  I wont’ ruin the book for you. 

Love to hear what your favorites are!  Still read alot so bring them on.


Snow in May!

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     The May Long Weekend is just around the corner….

     And it’s snowing!

I don’t know about you, but I really look forward to the May long weekend.  In Canada, it’s really early this year, starting on Friday May 15th.  You see, in Canada, unless the 24th falls on a Monday, its celebrated here the weekend before.  So, although it is a little early this year, I know I should not be looking out my window at SNOW!

No, its not a typo, SNOW!  Now as you know, here in Canada we have had a brutal winter with lots of snow already.  We’re sick of it.   So the last thing a person wants to see as she prepares for the ‘Unofficial Kick-off to Summer”, is the fluffy white stuff…. actually its more like wet cold snow… you know… slush!

I’m not a camper, but I figure all the people that are getting ready to open up their cabins and bring their campers to a park, must be pretty sick right now.  Snow!  Gross!  I know,,, it has happened in the past.. but you never seem to get used to snow in May.  It should be a time for flowers, and shorts, and sandals… not winter coats and turtlenecks.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your long weekend, and I hope the American’s get a better one starting May 23rd.

No matter, have fun, and drive safe.


Being on the Road is Hard on a Body!

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  Being On The Road can be Hard on the Body!


As most of you are aware, For the past 8 weeks I have been travelling for business… and that means hotel rooms, airplanes and all the other ‘stuff’ that goes along with travelling on business.  And I gotta tell you… It’s not easy!

A friend of mine has been doing it for 8 or 9 months or so, and it dawned on me that you don’t realize how hard living in hotels 90% of the time can be.  It made me want to write this article, because I only had to do it for two months, and let me tell you, I didn’t even realize how tired I was.  It’s not like travelling on vacation,, for starters, that’s for a short time, and you are so happy to be on vacation, that nothing else matters.  It’s different than ‘living’ in a hotel.

 I am very happy to report that my friend has found a job in the city in which he lives, and the travelling will come to an end. 

Appreciate sleeping in your own bed folks!  Nothing compares to it.

Enjoy Mothers Day


Happy Mother’s Day!

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to all the mothers out there, especially my own.

You know you are a mom when…..

1.  You hum the Barney song when you are cleaning the house

2.  When you find yourself cutting up your husband’s food.

3.  You are starting to like the taste of strained carrots and applesauce.

To all the mom’s who wiped our noses, took care of us when we were sick, cleaned up after us, cooked for us, and still found time to read us a book – God Bless you!