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Sit here and absorb some oxygen with a glass of wine..Anyone from history, who would you have join you?
Yesterday's moving picture and vino pairing. Gladiator and Warre's Warrior Port
Stained glass; another art form bringing us centuries of beauty.
It's comforting to know that gathering with friends to wet your whistle has always been a thing
"Even the darkest night will end & the sun will rise." - Victor Hugo
This past weekend's moving picture and vino pairing. Blood Diamond and M.A.N. Chenin Blanc!!

A Gladiator’s Dessert Wine

“What we do in life echoes in eternity.”    — Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator

This week’s film and wine pairing is Warre’s Warrior Port with Gladiator.

Port is a dessert wine that originated in Portugal and is fortified by the addition of Brandy to halt fermentation. The addition of this spirit boosts the strength of the wine.

In addition to fortification from weapons and armor, one could imagine that the gladiators may have also appreciated a little reinforcement from the spirits.

In this epic, Maximus (Russell Crowe) is referred to as the Spaniard. Way back in this period that meant he was from the Iberian Peninsula, where Portugal now sits alongside Spain.

The Lusitanians, warriors of the Iberian, were thought to be some of the bravest back in Roman Empire times. The Douro river was the most important of their borders to defend against the Romans. This is the same river and valley where Warre’s Warrior Port has been made since 1670 and is still shipped out to the Atlantic Ocean to this day.

So strengthen up with a meal and a glass of wine, because this isn’t a short one. Then enjoy the rest of this hearty flick with a satisfyingly fortified wine. It’d be a nice way to sit back and savor whatever victory you had this day.

By the way, Lisa Gerrard’s, Now  We Are Free really sets the tone in this movie.

National Puppy Day


“Happiness is a warm puppy.”                 – Charles Shultz (cartoonist, Peanuts)

Today is National Puppy Day!

Just about everyone loves puppies. They are cuddly, playful, fun-loving and so interested in everything that we do. They see us as the leader of their pack, and they follow us around wherever we go.  They greet us as best friends without judgment or dishonesty. They can actually help us be healthier and happier! Check this out!

But we all know they can also be very challenging. They put everything in their mouths and are a near constant threat to themselves, our home and our furniture! This is especially true if we are not a stay-at-home-worker.  So, here is a great article on how to work with your new puppy when you work away from home.

There can be a dark side, though. The welfare of puppies and dogs should be all of our concern, for “man’s best friend” can become “man’s worst enemy”, as in this article about a city in India, when they are not managed properly and they terrorize the people.

An education and mature development of our sense of human concern, responsibility and even intervention in the upbringing and care of dogs is often much needed. There are so many voices on this subject that I will leave you to an easy hour or two Googling that topic.

But there was one more fascinating thing for me over the years. I own Huskies, and often they are confused at first with wolves by my neighbors. It’s probably because we live in Florida, where they are not as common.  And humans have a poor history with wolves for many reasons.

But did you get a chance to catch up on this story on the 1995 re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone Park? It is a remarkable example of a trophic cascade that renewed a life-giving space and illustrates the amazing Balance of Nature.

So, enjoy that puppy, and help him or her to be a great companion and you to be a happier, healthier and more complete human!

Three Key Bones for Success

“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” — Reba McEntire

Oh Reba…I was just a rebellious, city slicker wannabe growing up in Oklahoma. I should have followed you and your show more closely. You’re obviously a gal that gets it!

What you are telling us is….

That our wishbones will always help us be dreamers. Our backbones will help us withstand rejection and criticism, and give us the strength to trudge through the muck towards our dreams.

My contention is that our funny bones are what really get us through it all. We must laugh at all of the craziness that life brings and at ourselves along the way. Hopefully that path lead to success,  whatever our definitions may be.

So good luck to all you dreamers, toughies, and comedians. These three bones are critical on our journey. Just up to us to decide which one is our strongest.

And sometimes you might feel like this song!  🙂

Fingered Speech

“It’s a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words.” -1984, George Orwell

Texting- will it destroy our ability to write and the very foundations of our language? Will the next generations grow longer thumbs and shorter vocabularies?!  ha!

Probably not. In fact, blogging shares a lot in common with texting! To quote from an interesting TED talk with linguist John McWhorter, texting is just another dialect of language. It is fingered-speech, writing like speaking!

I’m one of those who forgets this, constantly going back and trying to error-correct, capitalize and punctuate – a real grammar nerd. 

But at root, texting is just casual speech, loosely held together and free-flowing, as natural as any other language. 

So, we are fine, as long as we realize that there other kinds of writing that are important as well, such as literary novels, sonnets and poems, editorials and journals, – all dialects of our complex ways of expressing language. 

It is still really important to use our voices, though, if we really want to speak to one another. “Speak to Me” – Amy Lee

In a couple of days, we will also look at music as language! 🙂


March Wooden Wisdom

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

We all have some limitations, big deal. Let’s ignore those things and focus on what we are capable of, which could be quite significant!!

Our goal in Roses in the Alley is to bring you Beauty and Truth. Few people left as truthful an influence on this world as the great basketball coach, John Wooden.

Most of the things we find inspirational and share with you would fall under the umbrella of ART!  However, the athleticism expressed on the wooden floors of a basketball court should undeniably be considered its own form of art.

The words that John Wooden gave us were the definition of Truth. His life-changing ability to coach, to mentor, and to teach absolutely left this world a more beautiful place. Check out this inspiring TED talk from Coach Wooden.

Even if sports aren’t your thing, you have to admit that they bring people together. A room full of friends and family gathered together to root on their favorite team can also be quite a beautiful place.

So connect with your friends and family and enjoy the Best Moments in March Madness, the NCAA Tournament.

It really is a fun time of year! If you have time, learn from the teachers and philosophers, like Coach Wooden, that just happened to use basketball as their outlet.