Monday, July 04, 2005

What July 4th Means for Adoptees

An article by Carl Golden in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

In the small town in Pennsylvania where I grew up, the Fourth of July featured a parade in the morning, fireworks at night, and a patriotic speech or two in between, usually by a member of a veterans group or a town official...

My two older children grew up observing the Fourth and learning pretty much the same lessons from their history teachers that I did. They, as I, understand that the freedom we all enjoy should be celebrated on this holiday, even though many people take it for granted. Given the pace of today's living, few people think on a regular basis about how freedom began in the United States.

Now I am also the father of two children who were adopted and brought here from China. There, they had been abandoned by parents who, for whatever reason, were unable to care for them.

July Fourth is not a part of their heritage, as it is with American-born kids. They enjoy the same freedoms as their native-born playmates, but at times I think what their lives would be like had they not been chosen for my wife and me to bring here.

Full story.

"Lite" Wine for Women: Très Insultant!

This is a story that's been around for awhile, but was reposted today on

NAPA, Calif., July 4, 2005 — In California's wine country, where the aficionados proudly pledge to drink no wine before its time, one of the industry's oldest and largest winemakers is pulling grapes off the stem early — too early for traditional wine, but just right, they say, for something new.

"With that, we are able to get lower alcohol and lower sugar," said Tracey Mason of Beringer Blass Wine Estates. "It was also lower calorie, which was great."

Never mind the year on the bottle. In wine country, they're hoping this is the year of the woman.

Smart Business?

With fewer calories and less alcohol, Beringer's "White Lie" chardonnay — the wine for which they picked the grapes early — is aimed directly at women.

Creating a wine for women isn't just a gimmick, it could be smart business because winemakers say the old-world, male-dominated view of wine no longer holds.

Women make up 60 percent of wine consumers, according to industry research. Among couples, women make 80 percent of the wine-buying decisions.

'Voluptuous Wine'

O'Brien Cellars' new wine, Seduction, is designed around not-so-subtle marketing. It comes in a stylish red sack and is described on the back as "a voluptuous wine with sensual flavors and a velvet kiss."

"Our target consumer," said Bart O'Brien of O'Brien Cellars, "is an upscale, sophisticated woman who knows wine and can really appreciate what we've done — both inside the bottle and also … outside the bottle."

The marketing of a wine can be as important as the taste, said Leslie Sbrocco, a wine columnist and author of "Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine."

"Really, women look at wine from an experiential standpoint," Sbrocco said. "It's not always what's in the glass. It's the setting. It's who you're with. It's what you're having at the table."

They must not have "focus-grouped" any of the upscale, sophisticated women I know, who all enjoy a wide variety of wines, including those masculine, full-bodied reds. I suppose this sort of thing was inevitable, given the popularity of "lite" beers and other flavor-challenged cuisine.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Wisconsin FCC Assists "Hugging Grannies" in China

Below is a link to a story about the Southeast Wisconsin chapter of Families with Children from China and Asia who raise money for "hugging grannies", volunteers who help out with the children in Chinese orphanages. The province where their particular "hugging grannies" are located, Jiangxi, is the same one our daughter Ally is from.

Full story.

Iowa Adoption Story

Today, Kinzie Carr, 1, is waking up for the first time in her pale green and pink bedroom in LeClaire.

The baby was born in China and is the new child of John and Darcie Carr of LeClaire.

"I want to make my little sister feel safe and know that she's loved," said her new 11-year-old sister, Kylie.

Full story

Friday, July 01, 2005

Welcome Gardino Cellars

Gardino Cellars is a new winery opening this month in Washington (also known as "Little" Washington), Virginia, home of the fabulous Inn At Little Washington. They will bring their Italian flair to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Their 2004 harvest includes Chardonnay, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The whites are already on the market, with the reds gathering strength as they age in their barrels. With an annual production of less than 2,000 cases, quality should remain a priority. Now we have another excuse to visit the "other" Washington in the area.

Here is a story about Gardino from the Rappahannock News.