Category Archives: Pennsylvania

“Raise Your Glass” to Hard Cider!

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I have eclectic drinking tastes, which include some of those malt-flavored

drinks that resemble ‘wine coolers,’ from the seventies. I have an occasional

beer, support Fatheads’ micro brews, since they help my brother’s artistry in

their logo-painted walls. I enjoy wine, savoring the layers of flavor, such as

can be found in Lake Erie wineries. I enjoy the reds like Cabernet Sauvignon,

Merlot and Pink Catawba wine made from Catawba grapes. Recently, though,

I have ‘discovered’ the Cincinnati, Ohio company of Boston Beer Co. which

produces the biggest hard cider in the U.S. I think you will recognize, even if

you are not a hard cider drinker, the name of “Angry Orchard.” Business in

the hand-crafted apple cider area of beverages is booming! From 2007 until

last year’s total sales of hand-crafted hard cider, it went from $200 million

dollar business to a tripled amount of $600 million!

The largest areas producing hard cider can be found in New York, Michigan,

Washington and Oregon. Great locations for apple orchards and to create

this hard cider, you need to be close to where they grow. A man named Peter

Moon, used to have a shop in Columbus Easton Town Center called, “Color

Your World.” He has been working on his own personal recipe for hard cider,

seeing great potential in the Central Ohio area.

Historically speaking, we may consider the American apple pie an icon for

our country, but apple cider made into hard cider came over on the Mayflower,

with those Pilgrims. We can find records of barrels of fermented apple juice

packed along with all the other necessities needed to start a community in

America. This makes sense since apples were readily available to farmers and

the Pilgrims needed to ‘brace’ themselves, so to speak, for a whole different

World! This could be considered America’s first ‘drink’ they toasted safe arrival

here…

To go even farther, this article I found discussing apples being fermented into

hard cider, it is totally possible that the signers of the Declaration of Independence

had pewter goblets of this ‘brewed’ cider.

I am happy to soon ‘ditch’ the Angry Orchard brand of hard apple cider for a new

‘brew’ made by Peter Moon who is calling his cidery, “Mad Moon Craft Cider.” You

know my fascination with the moon? This means it is ‘fate’ that I travel southward

and check out this new place he has. I need to try this!

In a recent Columbus Dispatch article, introducing this new company, it mentions there

is a humble organization and simplicity in the Mad Moon company’s headquarters.

There is a sign hanging by the office,

“Cider for the People.”

It is representative of the company’s signature. These 4 words are a ‘take off’ of a Populist

slogan and sentiments from William Henry Harrison’s 1840 Presidential campaign. W. H.

Harrison was known to be a ‘hard-cider-drinking frontiersman.’ (Sept. 12, 2004 Columbus

Dispatch article.)

When Prohibition came along in 1920. hard cider lost its’ place in the people’s popularity

of beverages to imbide in. There was moonshine and illegal brews, but when Prohibition was

repealed, beers were the most popular drink.

Today’s society is always looking for something ‘new’ to discover and try. There are many of

the population trying homemade beer and apple cider brewing, along with winemaking.

They ‘crave’ unique beverages and as hosts and hostesses, offering a variety of choices.

In Columbus, Ohio we have around 13 beer breweries, some hobbyists and home brewers

are now opening ‘cideries.’ It is just a small beginning, the tip of an iceberg of beverages and

there is an ‘open market’ for this here.

Starting at the ground level, Peter Moon, has 750 gallons of apple juice fermenting in three

of Mad Moon Craft Cider’s 10 large tanks. The labels are still in ‘rough draft’ stage of the

business. I liked the bottle’s design in the photograph accompanying the Dispatch’s article.

Apples need to be originally grown from European seeds, what is considered “old seeds.”

They are stronger flavored apples, with savory and distinct ‘tones’ to their taste. Ohio farmers

find them to not be able to resist fungi and diseases. This seems to be a concern and a ‘work

in progress.’ So far, one of the farms that is selling their apples for hard cider has been able

to recommend the strength of ‘gold rush apples.’ I can relate to this search, when I make my

homemade apple crisp I like the softer apples of Rome, Gala and have tried others, too.

In Licking County, (Ohio), there is a hard cider being sold as, “Legend Valley Cider.”

This company has 50 accounts on their ‘books,’ so far. They await the end of the apple growing

year of crops to start their second year of production.

This is a stretch of my imagination, but I think Benjamin Franklin would have been proud of

the return to apple cider fermentation. It is what Early Americans would have respected. Freedom

to consume and continuing in the independent spirit of free enterprise, too.

So,  “Raise Your Glass” to toast the return of hard cider!

(Thanks to Pink, (2010) song, “Raise Your Glass!”)

 

What are you drinking?

If you don’t like alcoholic beverages, do you like apple cider?

I sure do associate apple cider with Fall or Autumn.

I Want That Job!

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I was looking at my grandchildren’s “Big Box” of Crayons. They are

certified ‘non-toxic.’ There are 96 colors of every shade imaginable

including with some ‘new,’ to me at least, names! The crayons are made

by Crayola Company, made in the U.S.A. and distributed in Australia

by Binney and Smith. The two locations for Crayola listed on the box

are Easton, Pennsylvania and Winfield, Kansas.

I also was placed at work,  in the aerosol paint room, otherwise known

affectionately as the ‘bomb shelter,’  for the past two weeks. We have

had longer hours, working with large orders, where I fill out 6 hampers,

toting about ten extra ones to replace once they are filled. I could not

believe the awesome names that car paint comes in now!

 

So, with my experience of painting with watercolors and acrylics,

having painted many murals and designs, along with my love of

designs and years of practice coloring inside the lines of coloring

books and outside the lines in my own exciting imaginary worlds,

I wish to apply for the position of:

 

EXECUTIVE COLOR MASTER AND NAMER OF NEW SHADES

OF CRAYONS, PAINTS OR CAR COLORS.

Salary is negotiable, location Central Ohio desirable.

Driving a beautifully designed 2015 car with some kind of company

logo, which will be richly and elaborately decorated in all sorts of

exciting colors will be part of my required expense budget.

Inquire through LinkedIn for Robin O. Cochran.

 

Anyone wishing to just enjoy colors through the words chosen

recently in the Big Box of Crayons by Crayola, here are some of

my favorites, grouped by category:

 

Yellows and Oranges:

Laser Lemon

Unmellow Yellow

Sunglow

Mac and Cheese

Neon Carrot

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Reds and Purples:

Razzle Dazzle Rose

Hot Magenta

Wild Strawberry

Tickle Me Pink

Purple Pizzazz

Orchid

Thistle

Purple Mountain Majesty

 

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Blues:

Cornflower

Blizzard Blue

Periwinkle

 

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Greens:

Tropical Rainforest

Electric Lime

Screaming Green

Magic Mint

Pine Green

Jungle Green

 

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Now here are some of the Aerosol Paint colors for cars:

Metallic Colors:

Gunmetal

Light slate

Graphite

Aluminum

Light Drift Sand

 

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Whites:

Olympic

Performance

Wimbleton

Polar Arctic

Oxford

 

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Reds:

Inferno

Toreador

Victory

Garnet

Dark Cherry

 

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Greens:

Cayman Island

Green Metallic

Pine Green

Emerald Green

 

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Tans:

Tumbleweed

Khaki

 

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Black:

Brilliant Black Pearl

 

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Gray:

Dark Shadow

 

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Golds:

Champagne Pearl

Harvest Gold

Light Almond Pearl

Cashmere Beige

(I used to have a “Cinnamon Glaze” Neon!)

 

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This one reminds me of “Charlotte’s Web,” where Charlotte

wove special and magical messages into her spider webs to

inspire the farmyard animals and ultimately save her dear

friend, Wilbur the pig’s life. So he would not be sold for meat,

at the county fair.

 

“Radiant Silver” is one of the many silver colors that goes out

frequently, distributed to Ohio and Indiana stores. It must be

on a popular car!

 

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I love these ‘blues:’

So will you!

True Blue

Maui Blue

Bahama Blue

Metal Specks Ocean Blue

 

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Nature is a theme for both the crayons and car paints’ choices of

colors. This is part of who I am, I am a natural woman, you see!

Imagination and creativity are also part of my work ethic, which

I could definitely utilize by coming up with all kinds of new names

for the next generation of coloring children and car buyers!

 

The Daytona Yellow is another popular color. I would like any or

all of these on my personal company car!

 

Don’t you think I would qualify?

I will leave you with a quotation that is motivating me to find

just the right place to work:

“Good work and joyous play go hand in hand.

When play stops, old age begins.

Play keeps you from taking life too seriously.”

(Lord Byron)

 

What is your dream job? Please share!

Love is the Air!

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There is love in the air recently with the warm breath of Spring coaxing it along!

There are two stories to prove it is happening close to us around here!

Scott C. (worker at Advance Auto) who recently went through a divorce, had

some good news. I had written a story about him mentioning his young age

of 30 years old and being a childhood friend of my middle child, and only

son. Scott had been online talking to a woman who is a teacher. Scott came

up to me at work to tell me first he had been chatting for almost a month.

Recently, Scott and his online acquaintance had been Skypeing. When he

heard she was going to Pennsylvania for Easter he felt an impulse to act!

He looked up her hotel online and started to think, “Hey, my kids are with

their mother for the holiday and my parents are going out of state to visit my

brother and sister in law… Maybe, I could meet her for the first time and

surprise her in PA!”

Well, if that isn’t a sweet thought, I don’t know what is! I realized to go over

7 hours driving one way would be a truly romantic gesture that only a young

and impulsive man might do! (Would a middle aged man do that for me?

Hmmm…. I wish!) Scott also made a hotel reservation at the same hotel for

himself where she would be staying at with her two Kentucky friends. The

three women would be traveling together since her friends had been invited

to her parents’ house.

This surprising her could have gone either of two ways! He could impress her

and make her very happy or he could embarrass himself ! (OR it could go over like

a lead balloon!) I was so happy to hear the end of the story and the pleasant results

that everything went smoothly. She said she already had a “big crush” on him and

now, she was beginning to “fall in LOVE” with him! He got to meet her family and

he said they really liked him also. Her friends that were staying at the hotel due to

her parents’ smaller home and tight quarters, also liked him. Scott did not expect to

be invited to the dinner, just had hoped to be able to go out with the three women on

their first night there (Good Friday).

Scott C. is a good catch and he stumbled upon her in an online chat room for

singles. Just a word of encouragement for those looking and using these places.

Another happy start to his new life as a single man, is a story involving a nice

man named Chad A. He is also a coworker of mine. I have become over time his

second mother. He is probably vaguely referred to in my posts that include my

breakroom and lunch table mates. Jill, Anna, Peggy and David are some of the

rest of the fellow group members.

Chad had married three years ago after meeting a woman named Pat at a friend’s

party. He had taken his bride to the hospital to see his mother who was not doing

so well with chemo treatments for her cancer. He had felt closer to Pat in a short

time than any other relationship from his post high school days. He now looks back

and can see the signs of future trouble but did not pay attention at the time. He feels

being distraught over his mother’s ongoing cancer and rapid health deterioration

made him make a rash decision to get married while she was alive. He and Pat made

uncomplicated arrangements with a short amount of time with help from Pat’s parents

and some financial help from his father. We, at work, were happy for Chad to have Pat

to support him through a lot of his mother’s ailment.

Chad asked his mother if she was really sure she wanted his bride and he to go on their

honeymoon after the wedding? His Mom said, like the amazing mother she was,

“It is my only source of joy, Chad!” These words created a powerful effect on all of us

while listening to his plans three years ago.

They had had their family’s pastor marry them in the hospital chapel.

The two families had their small reception with finger sandwiches and cake served in

a conference or gathering room. Chad’s mother was tired but able to attend.

Chad and Pat hugged her frail, upright body in the wheelchair and said they loved her.

She replied, “I love you both. Now go and celebrate your marriage!”

While Chad and his bride were on their Caribbean cruise, his mother died. Unusually

so, his father and brother did not call him. This took courage and a lot of love on his

small family’s decision to wait until the newlyweds came home. They met the couple

at the airport and then, still waited to take them out to a quiet restaurant. That is where

they told Chad and Pat that his mother had passed away. His father emphasized,

“This is what your mother wanted for you, Chad! To be happy, to be married and to not

know if she died until the honeymoon was over.”

Fast forward  to only one year ago, Chad was struggling immensely with the burden of a

virtually psychotic wife. He was at his wit’s end and had asked for his Dad, his father- and

mother- in- law along with his brother to join him at his small house out in Kilbourne.

Chad had these people wait on the porch until all were gathered, he served them iced tea

and cookies.

Chad said he started to weep but would not tell them what was wrong. He had them enter

the house together. This was during Spring, 2012 and it was already hot and we had started

working our ten hour days. He was worn out in more than one way.

What the families saw shocked them! Chad’s wife had allowed clutter to pile to the ceiling

in their short two year marriage. She did not work at all, so Chad had decided to be the

‘chief cook and bottle washer.’ Chad had tried to decide what responsibilities to carry out

and what he had decided would be a fair amount for Pat to do while she stayed at home

not working at all. Finally, with some periodic conversations with us at work about

where he  should draw the lines. He had decided not to touch or handle all of Pat’s clothes

and magazines that she seemed to accumulate daily into big messes. He enjoyed taking the

dog outside. He also drove Pat to the psychiatrist for her weekly visits.

On this Spring day, he had asked this close knit family group here that day to see for

themselves what he had been living with for the past two years.

He wanted to ask for forgiveness, he did not want to carry on any longer the charade he had

kept hidden.

We had counseled him at our work between the five of us, three older divorced women

and Anna, the widow, plus occasionally a man named Melvyn. We all had helped him to

decide to take Pat to a counselor.

This action had not been easy for Chad to almost force Pat to leave the house to go to the

mental health center. We had suggested him to seek Christian counseling for their marriage

from their pastor. Chad had felt guilty and done a lot of worrying about his not having a “good

reason for seeking a divorce.” We had compassion and also, most importantly, we felt as his

‘surrogate mothers,’he needed permission to give up the sinking ship!

None of the family had gone to their house since they had been married. Mostly, Chad had

chosen to always go to Pat’s or his Dad’s house. Only a few times had they been able to afford

to go out to eat or meet at a restaurant.

The intervention lasted an hour with Pat sitting on the sofa listening. Chad continued to show

remorse and cried throughout. When his Dad said, “Whatever my son wants to do, I am 100%

behind him!” Chad was shocked because in his few times he would complain about Pat to his

Dad, his father had always said, “You need to try harder.”

His brother and his mother in law were in sympathy for Pat. His father in law, in contrast,

almost yelled at his daughter,

“What is the matter with you? You never were allowed to make such a mess under our roof!”

Chad gave them a final tour of the house. None of Chad’s clothes were in piles, he walked

them to his closet where even his work t-shirts were on hangers. He had no mess on his

half of the bedroom and the kitchen was very clean. The area where Pat sat and watched

television all day was cluttered and dirty with dishes, food wrappers and magazines.

Chad explained he gave her $40 for groceries and she almost always would buy junk food

and only a few good choices. He had gotten in the habit of stopping by a Subway to get his

lunch food, sandwiches or soup and a salad. We had noticed some of this and heard of most

of it over the years.

Anyway, the love found on the internet last Fall, 2012 after the divorce was “just a friendship.”

Chad had found a woman who listened to all his recent troubles. This remarkable woman who

was 26 years (Chad is 31 years old) was willing to be his friend. They went to parks and engaged

healthy, outdoor activities together. She had drawn a line with any kind of romance. She really

wanted him to be soundly single and not make her the “rebound relationship.” Chad is a trusting

man so we worried when he started this so soon after the summer’s divorce. But we did encourage

him to relax and have some fun!

Last Friday, while walking around Delaware, Anna and I ran into Chad and Miranda! We were

so pleased, they approached us holding hands and looking all “moony” at each other. We waved

from a distance and Chad said something to her and then waved back. We crossed the street where

the laser tag and different games were going on, surprised we even spotted him through the crowd.

They are both tall and Miranda has strawberry blonde layered hair. They looked perfect together!

We are so glad that  we had helped him to move on in his life. It was an enormous decision to

make:

By giving up a marriage that was weighing him down, mainly holding on because his mother

had given her blessing. The last thing she had emphasized had been to say their marriage was

her reason she would hold onto life. We have to hope she sees Chad is happy and would want this

to be the way it ends up.

Being the angel Chad’s mother was, she may have changed her blessing to “Be happy!”