News from southwest Florida

I thought it might be time to check in since it’s already mid-February. Not sure how those people who blog and post daily updates to social media get anything done. Maybe they’re just more hard-working than I am.

Speaking of that, my immediate supervisor at Total Wine, the wine manager – whose knowledge is that of a sommelier and who has been my mentor in wine – put out a challenge to everyone at our store who is enrolled in the Total Wine Professional program. That person who passed the first exam in the TWP program would receive a $150 bottle of wine from Washington, Oregon, or California (the focus of the first exam).

No one in the store except for said wine manager had managed to pass that first test. Not the wine supervisor, not any other managers, nor any other team members.

Challenge accepted. On Sunday I took the exam and passed; making me the only person in the store who has achieved that milestone other than my mentor.  My reward? (other than the aforementioned $150 bottle – the Moone-Tsai Hillside Blend crafted by Philippe Melka). I had to immediately take the next exam. Bordeaux. Talk about coming down to earth in a hurry! I got a 47% (Expected 30%!) Back to work…. 

On a continuing front, I completed the liner notes for a CD recording of my editions of Heinrich Isaac motets from the Choralis Constantinus. Carus-Verlag, a renowned music publisher in Stuttgart decided to support a CD of Isaac music performed by Markus Utz and his ensemble cantissimo – all of which was transcribed and edited by yours truly. And Carus-Verlag asked (and paid) me to write the liner notes for the CD!

The CD will be issued in April and the music is sublime.  I have the recordings but cannot share them (of course) since Carus hopes to make money from selling them. But Markus and his ensemble have re-created the music as I always heard it in my head but never had the resources to make it happen. I am blessed by those around me – especially Michelle – who have helped and encouraged me to continue working in this field.

The scores for this music will soon become available on both this website and the ensemble cantissimo website as free public domain choral music. If Carus-Verlag decides to publish some of it, we will refrain from placing those free PDF files online. Stay tuned.

Michelle is still coping with becoming middle management. She is great at working with people. I would not have passed that TWP exam without her her guidance. But even superwoman has her limits. She is working through the demands on her time, and I have no doubts that she will find solutions to having more one her plate than she should have. I try to be supportive and reduce stress as much as possible.

One of those things was to visit the Mini Cooper dealer here to get her car serviced and, while doing so, decided to trade in her current CooperS for a hardtop CooperS. So now, Michelle is driving a fairly new Cooper that she loves rather than one that is cool, but not what she wants.

This picture is not the actual car, but is close to it.

I told her that this is the seventh car she’s had since we were married. I’ve had two….  Oh, well.

It is paramount that she has something that is safe and secure to make her commute on a dangerous road to and from work every day. Bottom line is that Michelle has finally found a place in her life where she is respected professionally and honored for what she does. That’s a good thing.

Otherwise, not much to report. I have too many tomatoes than I can eat. My herb garden is amazing. I just bought mint today so it can take over my garden but give me mojitos. Today was beautiful, Woke up to 60 degrees F and mowed the lawn in 78 degree comfort. Love living here.

I hope you are all as happy as I am.

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