Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stuff I Love : Seaport White

 Since my husband and I are in Education, we couldn't go on our honeymoon right after our Fall wedding last year. We eventually did this past summer (more on later!) but the week after the wedding, we spent a long weekend in Mystic, CT on what can be dubbed our "mini-moon." It was fabulous. I'm sure I'll post more about it, bit by bit, (the beautiful Mystic Seaport, Olde Mistick Village, the best french toast on the planet at Mystic Diner, romantic candlelit dinner at Bravo Bravo, fish and chips at The Mystic Boathouse, the charming shops along West Main...I could go on and on.)

The best souvenir I took from our weekend in Mystic was a bottle of Seaport White from Stonington Vineyards in Stonington, CT.

Now I'm a wine drinker. Not a very sophisticated wine drinker but that's my drink of choice out on the town. Generally my favorites range from a $6.00 bottle of Beringer White Zinfandel to a $13.00 bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (when I'm feeling really extravagant). I like white wine and I like it sweet. I'm not even going to get into "notes of charred raspberry on a willow branch" business because, frankly, I never understand it. I just know what I like.

You have to know that I'm a planner, and that vacation with me is an organized experience (be still my heart, Danny Tanner and your Clipboard of Fun). I'm not rigid but my husband and I are generally not lay-around type people when it comes to time away. So before our weekend away, I'd planned a list of fun activities to choose from. And so between a morning at Mystic Seaport and a late lunch at Mystic Pizza, we ventured to Stonington for a winery tour and tasting. It was very sophisticated, very honeymoonish, and I got to use my new last name on their mailing list sign up sheet.

Among the wines we tasted were their award-winning Seaport White. Their website says that it's "a Cayuga/Chardonnay blend that results in a refreshing, balanced, off-dry white wine." Sure. All I know its that it's a sweet-but-not-too-sweet table white and I prefer it served icy cold. I'm terrible at describing wines but since you already know I like White Zinfandel and Riesling, I can tell you it's less sweet that White Zin but lighter than Riesling. If that makes any sense at all to you. Whatever, it's really good. You should buy it!

It's priced at $10.99 a bottle and available for sale on their website. (They had also mentioned that while most wine shops don't stock it outside of CT, any store can get it for you. After bringing a bottle home, I went right back to their website and ordered a case which saves you a dollar or so a bottle.)

One wine website describes it: "This award-winning proprietary blend produces a refreshingly balanced easy-drinking, off-dry wine with a fruity nose. Chardonnay provides a complex nose, Vidal adds a pungent fruitiness. Simply put – a nice, sipping wine perfect for an afternoon picnic or an evening meal/aperitif."

I drank it on my couch in pink leopard print pajamas and scout socks while watching "The Devil Wears Prada" last night, so it's good for that, too. Cent'anni!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Be a Scout !

This week is Be a Scout Social Media week here in NYC so here's me doing my part!

The Scouter's Wife is proud to support Scouting and the Greater New York Councils, BSA!

Like them at Follow them @BoyScoutsGNYC.

Learn more about Boy Scouts of America by visiting

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I am Catholic.

I know in the future I'll be blogging a lot more about my faith but for now, here's an awesome video that makes me so proud to be Roman Catholic.

"Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!" - Blessed Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

20 Questions

Last week, Bryan on Scouting asked the Scouting magazine Facebook page, "Have you sat in on an Eagle Board of Review? If so, what are some of your favorite questions? Kathy, a Scouter who e-mailed us, is about to sit in on her first BOR and is looking for advice!"

So Bryan and the folks over there took all of the responses and picked what he thought were the best 20 questions and re-posted them on his blog. You can see that list here:

I am posting this because I think this information is valuable to all you Scouters and Scouter's Wives out there.

I am also posting this because one of the 20 questions is mine :)

Happy Board-of-Reviewing!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back to Troop

Happy New Scouting Year! Thursday was the first day of scouting of the year for our unit. The most recent former Weblos from the pack of our charter sponsor became Boy Scouts last night, almost all of them coming in at the rank of Scout (because of the Arrow of Light award). The PLC met a couple of weeks ago to put the finishing touch on these first few meetings. Belt buckles were shined, shirts irons, knots knotted and loops loopy. We were ready.

I continue to stand in amazement of the fact that ten years ago, I didn't know what any of that meant.

Last weekend was the council kickoff of the new year. Because the men of the troop went down to this event, this left to me the task of signing up new and prospective scouts at the parish's activities sign up fair. So there I was, in a troop shirt with the words SERVICE CORPS in 200 point font on my back, telling kids and parents about scouting and answering their questions and recruiting. (I wore the shirt with the garish letters, by the way, because a Class A uniform, for me, is out of the question.That thing on me raises frumpiness to new heights). I am sometimes surprised by the ease by which I'm able to talk about scouting. It wasn't me, after all, who grew up in the program. Sure I'm a lifelong Girl Scout, so I'm sold on the concept of scouting, but organizationally, the two groups are very different. I surprise myself at how much I've learned over the asking questions or just listening attentively to hours and hours of conversation. When I say things like "I'll have to check with our D.E. about that" or that I've become the official scouting interpreter for our non-scouting friends (sometimes, when you've been inside the bubble for so long, you forget that not everyone is familiar with the concept of National Camping School. You also forget that not everyone has enough makings for a Scouting themed room scattered throughout their houses, but I digress.) it's like I can hardly remember when this wasn't a part of my everyday life.

Last summer, my sister mentioned that one of her colleague's sons was going to scout camp that summer and wondered if it was the same one that our troop attends. Without blinking an eye, I responded, "Well they live in Nassau, right? That means they're in the Theodore Roosevelt Council, so their summer camp would be Onteora, actually."

Did that just come out of my mouth?

I realized some things  in that moment. I could no longer claim to be an outsider. I could no longer just be Scouter's fiancée, at the time. You know, the sweet girl that helps hang signs or takes tickets at a fundraiser but whose involvement stops there. I was a part of this program, a scouter in my own right. The role of "scouter's spouse" is generally thought to be someone who gives outside support to their husband or wife's scouting career, without being an active registered member themselves. I've always thought of myself as a Scouter's girlfriend/fiancée/wife, but it was undeniable. I was on the troop charter, literally a card-carrying member of the BSA. I've helped lead the troop on hikes. I've gone camping with the boys. I've assisted in running fundraisers. Super (like my husband) Scouter I am certainly not. But I'm in this. So far over my head I'm practicing Safe Swim Defense over here.

At the end of the day though, I still consider my primary role in scouting to be that of Scouter's Wife rather than Committee Member. (By the way, does it irk anyone else that on the registration form, the code is "MC" instead of "CM"? Never mind.) I support scouting - with my time, effort, and money - but at the heart of that, it's my husband and his love of scouting that I support. It's because of my love for him that I've learned about the program, that I've tried to give back to it, that I volunteer my own time. I've always considered myself lucky that the man I married spends his spare time giving back to the program that gave him so much; that if  he's out "with the boys" late on any given night, it's usually because of a troop or lodge meeting; that the Scout Law isn't just something that looked good on a college application, it's how he lives his life. For that reason I do what I do for Scouting. It's why I even own my own Class A uniform, why I willingly slept in an A-Frame tent for two months one summer, and why I even consulted various BSA calendars when choosing our wedding date.

But they don't have a registration code for that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stuff I Love : Ritter Sport

I swear, half the reason I started this blog is so I can talk about my favorite things.

But what would that first product be? Oh, I have a list. Nail products, grocery items, chapstick. Whatever I choose for my first product could set the tone of this blog forever. That product would make a statement about who I am and what I value most. There was only one answer.


Not just any chocolate. I heard about this stuff long ago from blogger C. Jane Kendrick. She mentioned it at some point and I'd wanted to try it, being a lifelong lover of the substance, but I couldn't find it anywhere. And then, one day, out of the blue, months and months later, it was staring up at me, in Walgreens of all places. One bar comes to $4.27 with tax. Pricey, yes. But this is "adult chocolate." Don't get me wrong, a Hershey's does the trick in a Real Chocolate Emergency, but sometimes, you just need an upgrade. And does this hit the spot.

So far, I've tried the Alpine Milk Chocolate and the Milk Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts. The 3.5 oz bar is 3.5 x 3.5 inches of creamy deliciousness. Seriously, this is the creamiest milk chocolate I've ever had, and I've had it all - Godiva, Dove, Lindt, Ghiradelli, Perugina, Sees, Russell Stovers, 75% off hollow chocolate bunnies named Peter B. Goode. (This is the part where you insist that I've haven't lived until I've tried Such-and-Such Brand of chocolate and you want to send me a bar. You may proceed.) This stuff is fantastic. If you happen to see it, buy it. You'll thank me.

A less expensive runner up to the Ritter Sport: Hershey's Symphony bar. (It's gotta be the red wrapper though, not blue. Ritter Sport may be my latest fling but Symphony was my first love. And you just don't forget your first love.)

I wish you peace, blessings, and copious amounts of chocolate.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blogger Inspiration

I'm a big reader. I've always been, and I love to write - stories, letters, citations, anything. I collect books, much to my husband's chagrin who has had to move them no less than three times now as I've moved from apartment to apartment. (Did I mention that most of these are hardcover? tee-hee. Sorry honey.) I'm also a very fast reader. Now with the Kindle iPad app, I devour entire works faster than Amazon can charge them to my credit card. (And the hubs is in full support of any future books I acquire in electronic format. Really, its better for his back.)

I've read a few fantastic books recently, which I'm sure I'll get around to sharing sooner or later. I've just finished renowned blogger Ree Drummond's book From Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. I've started reading her blog occasionally, and I say occasionally because when I do, it sucks me in and 4 hours later, my husband is asking me why I haven't spoken to him for an entire afternoon. Its not really fair to call "The Pioneer Woman" a blog...its kind of an empire. (It also makes me feel ashamed and inspired at the same time. This mother of 4 runs a ranch and still manages to put gourmet beef dishes on the table every night and author one of the most extensive blogs going. I can manage about two posts a week and I have no kids and a 2 bedroom apartment in the wilds of Brooklyn. I hang my head but type on!) I absolutely loved her book. As someone who had come upon her blog only in the last year, I'd never known how she met the Marlboro Man and traded Anne Klein jeans for a John Deere lawn mower. I couldn't put it down and would have finished it in two days instead of three if it wasn't for that whole "need to make a living" thing that regularly gets in the way of my blogging, reading, cooking and cleaning.

The other famous blogger's book that I've read in the last few months is Stephanie Nielson's Heaven is Here. Another fixture on my Kindle, I've probably read it three times now. Stephanie, of the NieNie Dialogues, tells the story of the plane crash that she survived with burns on 80% of her body, but also of her fairy tale courtship with her husband and the birth of her first 4 children before the accident. I loved reading her whole story but really liked hearing how she got her start in blogging. She has great style, she's an awesome mom, she's a woman of deep faith and has maintained her upbeat outlook on everything about her life After Crash. What's not to like about that?

There are a couple of other blogs I read and oh how they feed my wannabe blogger soul. As I said in my first post, the goal of this blog is to put out there my life as a Scouter's Wife, and maybe there's someone who stumbles upon my story who can either relate to my experience or just wants to be entertained by it.

I love to read and I love to write. And with women like Ree and Nie around to inspire me, I hope that just maybe I can write something that you love to read, too.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Language of Scouting

Why did this not exist when I was newbie?

When you’re new to Scouting, one of the most confusing parts is all of the terminology – especially the acronyms. I didn’t know my ASPL from my NYLT. And what on earth is a NOAC and NLATS sounds like a made up disease. (“Yeah I’ve got this rash on my arm…I think it’s a flare-up of my NLATS.”) Don’t get me started on “Silver Beaver.” (Sometimes I like to look back in my life and try to figure out when the phrase “Silver Beaver Dinner” became a part of my regular vocabulary, but I digress.)

Now I had to learn like everyone else – fake it ‘til you make it. (I still remember trying, “So how did you like the 1998 NOAC? That would be the National Order of the Arrow Conference,” as a pseudo pickup line on my now husband. There’s something wrong with me.) Well, I’ve just read in the September-October 2012 Scouting Magazine that there is a section of devoted to the “Language of Scouting” including a list Abbreviations and Acronyms Commonly Used in Scouting. This is unacceptable! You new people should have to spend some time thinking that COPE refers to scouts coping with the fact that they’ll be climbing a 40 foot rock wall. 

Anyhoo, check it out! I wish this had been around when I started out. TTYL!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Post !

Let me just say I’ve been trying to write this blog for years.

Seriously, I have drafts of my first entry in notebooks. I have a running list of topic ideas for posts in my cell phone. It’s never gotten to this spot, however. I’ve gone as far to create a pretty little design for my blog, and that’s where I stopped. Life takes over and I never have the time. I even had a blog (and by “had a blog” I mean it existed somewhere in cyberspace. I think.) before this one so long ago, that I was Scouter’s girlfriend at the time. I’ve earned my Master’s degree, gotten engaged, married, and started a new job all in the time that I’ve tried to blog. I guess a lot of the blogs I regularly read have updates, you know, regularly and I’ve never been sure I could keep up with that kind of schedule.

Until I realized no one knows about this blog yet so I guess I really don’t have a schedule. So here I am.

A little bit about me: I’m a late twentysomething wife of a very active Scouter. My husband and I have been together for nearly a decade, during which time he has held local and sectional positions as a youth and adult. I’m not any kind of expert on Scouting but it’s a program that I love – 98% of the time – meaning I love it when I see how it turns shy young boys into upstanding outspoken honorable young men, but I love it less when it makes my husband occasionally be away for 3 weekends in a row. And Thursday nights. And sometimes Tuesdays. And several weeks in the months of June and July. And every few years in August. I volunteer as a member of the Troop Committee of our unit and get to spend time with some of the most incredible young men around and the most fun adults I know. Though I’ve only been around Boy Scouting for about 9 years now, I am a lifetime Girl Scout and earned the Gold Award, which is the highest award in Girl Scouting. I work in education and am a proud Roman Catholic. I expect this blog to be about my adventures in Scouting as Scouter’s Wife, and probably whatever else is on my mind at the moment. Again, if you want expert scouting advice, I could point you toward the right people. Here you’re more likely to find recaps of troop fundraisers and plans I’ve made while the hubs is hiking in the woods. (Spa weekend, anyone?) Hope you enjoy reading it!