Wine in a box, online scrabble and Vietnamese fried rice…

Michelle brought home this BOX of wine last weekend to make sangria for our neighborhood party. I have to admit, I was rather dubious to drinking anything out of a box, especially wine — but since it was only for sangria, how bad could it be? Well, it turned out to be pretty darn good! Apparently, Bota Box scored 95 points at some State Fair back in 2008. I don’t know if I would have given it a 95, but it is really good. Some of the best features are that 1) it comes in a box — the equivalent size of 4 bottles — and it’s made of recycled paper instead of glass (think, camping, picnic, hiking, where you don’t have to worry about breaking anything), and 2) it’s the size of FOUR bottles, and 3) it’s about $20 bucks, or about $5 bucks a bottle. When was the last time you paid $5 bucks for a 95 points bottle? Because it’s not glass, you’re not subjected to sunlight or spoilage or any of that. Pretty cool. I should get bonus points for endorsing this product. People! Bota Box. Available at your nearest gourmet supermarket.

Speaking of points and such, Michelle went off the deep end again (surprise!) and bought a whole bunch of cigars. I cannot say with absolute certainty, but we are now well over 300 cigars. The surplus are being stored outside of the state-of-the-art humidor. Eeek! But, that also means, if we smoke one cigar every other night (it usually takes us two nights to finish a good fattie), it would still take us over a year to finish this stash. The most impressive thing is that Michelle manages to find unbelievably good deals online. Our favorite cigars to date are (top five) Gurkha, Man-of-War, 5 Vegas, Partagus, Black Pearl, Fonseca. (OK, so maybe that was more than 5. We actually have a fluctuating top 10 every time we try something new.) They were all Dominican  Republic or Nicaraguan/Costa Rican. As a surprise/treat, she special-ordered a bunch (like 20 or so) real Cubans from Switzerland. (Who knew that you still can’t buy anything Cuban in the USA, even though the embargo was “lifted” by Obama.) Anyway, they were quite a pricey lot, and to be honest, we did not like any of them. Not even the one that was quoted at $20 bucks per stick. Maybe it was because of the way they were stored. I would definitely not turn one down, if we should/could ever travel to Cuba. But these cigars are nowhere near our top ten. I don’t know if it’s the wrapper or filler or what, but we did notice that the Cubans were lighter in color, drier in smoke, and pepperier (is that a word?). The ones we favor the most tend to be dark and oily, mellower and creamier. Michelle has been keeping a journal (with band stickers!), so maybe one day we can post the ratings and notes, with pictures!

Michelle has her Women’s Cancer Resource Center (WCRB) board meeting tonight, so I am left to fend for myself. Between the Bota Box and my Nub, I managed to get my assed kicked thoroughly by Amy playing scrabble online. I am convinced she’s cheating. I just don’t know how. She’s ahead by about 100 points. And that was BEFORE I started drinking the Bota Box. I should just give up scrabble and stick to dominoes. At least I don’t have to think too much.

I took the afternoon off because I had to take Gingersnap! to the vet. She hadn’t gotten any better by this morning, and I had to call in to make an appointment. Montclair was already double-booked, so Little G! was placed on the urgent care list. Ginger! was so well behaved, to my surprise, especially because she was by herself and Madeleine wasn’t around for support. But the poor thing; she was having such a terrible time with her tummy. She couldn’t hold it any longer, and pooped on the examination table! I was mortified. But what a wonderful vet (they’re ALL great there). Dr. Grandrath immediately said “Oh, that’s great, a fresh sample!!” and proceeded to clean everything up. I’m still mortified; I mean, it was really stinky really liquid poop! Gingersnap!, the poor girl, got all embarrassed and put herself in a corner, ears down. Dr. Grandrath presribed metronidazole and bland food. So I made white rice and boiled chicken breast for her. Boy, you’d think that girl hasn’t eaten in months! Hopefully, two doses or so of this stuff and she’ll be back to normal. At least we’ve confirmed that it’s not coccidia or giardia — that was what plagued her as a young pup, and from the stool samples that I brought in, I was a little nervous that that might have been it. We still don’t know what it is, but at least the inflamation will go down.

Since I had to make Ginger! some hot white rice, I decided to make Vietnamese fried rice. Well, at least prep all the ingredients for it. You need day-old rice in order to make this dish, so by tomorrow, the rice will be perfect. I’ll post the recipe later — maybe tomorrow, but let me say this: if I could eat spaghetti and fried rice everyday, without putting on a single pound, I’d be in heaven.


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