Suddenly September

by Renee on September 6, 2020

September arrived and right on cue, the leaves began turning and falling. There have still been some warm days (and there are probably a few more ahead), but the mornings have been blissfully cool, and I’ve started drinking fall beers. I love a good Oktoberfest, Märzens, and there are a handful of pumpkin ales I enjoy as well.

Because staying home versus going out is still the norm these days as COVID continues to make the rounds in Ohio and around the U.S., I purchased a simple steel fire pit for my patio. I’ve enjoyed my summer of grilling, and now I’m looking forward to some s’mores! It has already gotten a bit of use, most recently one late night I sat up laughing with Cami, in town for a catch-up with her Ohio people. There is nothing like spending time with those who know us best to do the soul some good. We got out a bit, and raised a glass or two to old friendships during her week here.

Some folks have said they feel it’s too soon, but I put my autumn wreath on my front door, I’m ready to move this year along. Hard to believe it’s less than two months until the Presidential election, but it’s coming quickly. My mail-in ballot request came, but I’m going to vote in person I think. My little village is small, and lines won’t be much of an issue. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: register and VOTE! I can’t think of an election in my lifetime when it has been more important. Nothing less than the soul of our country is at stake.

Meanwhile, I’ll be soaking up the patio and porch time with Porter and the occasional visitor. Cheers to the smell of woodsmoke in the air, seasonal beers, and whatever gets us through to 2021!



Summer Sweetness–But Winter is Coming

by Renee on August 19, 2020

SummerThere are a few sweet weeks of summer left–even though schools are back in session, I’ve Grillingcaught the sight of changing leaves on the trail, and some mornings I can see my breath–and I’m hanging on to every bit of it. In Ohio, this means we get the most wonderful sweet corn and tomatoes of the year and warm nights for dinner on the patio.

If COVID has taught us nothing else, it’s that simple times around a table with the ones we love are the best times. I had the kids and Mom over for a little cookout recently–it was the first time Ali, Matt, and Joseph had seen Grandma in months. A little bocce on the lawn, a lot of laughs, and some good food together, and life Boccealmost felt normal.

Another way I hope we will get back to more normal times is on the horizon if we can get He Who Shall Not Be Named out of the White House. The November election is coming, and so is an avalanche of liberal snowflakes–Donnie, winter is coming, and the changing of the guard in January. I couldn’t slap my BYEDON bumper sticker on my car fast enough.

Dump TrumpIf you haven’t yet, register to VOTE, and get out there and do it–by mail, in person, by homing pigeon if you have to do it that way. Yep, I brought politics into this blog, but it’s my blog so yeah! Feel free to disagree with me in your own blog. Cheers to savoring the sweet things, and change ahead!


One Year Later…Ohio is Home

by Renee on July 16, 2020

Hard to believe I’ve been back in Ohio for a year now. I’m so glad to be home again, near my Mom, my daughter, my cousin Anna, long-time friends, and familiar roads, parks, and places. While I miss my BFF Cami in Raleigh, as well as the friends I made there, I hope to see them again soon — I have a guest room, and my little Wren House is happy to welcome visitors (once COVID makes travel a little easier down the line perhaps). Cami is due to come next month, something to look forward to in these crazy times!

This year has been disappointing in many ways thanks to the coronavirus–no summer concerts, no family reunion, no wedding celebrations. But there are small joys thanks to good weather finally making an appearance in NE Ohio: socially distanced happy hours on my porch & patio with neighbors, the invitation to a friend’s pool, s’mores at Ali and Joseph’s campsite over the 4th of July, a trip to Lake Erie’s Mentor Headlands with Porter on a sunny day, the occasional brewery patio beer (Missing Mountain’s spot in Cuyahoga Falls is a favorite), even cooking on my grill.

I’ll take those doses of happiness where I can find them.


This year has also marked five years since we spent summer at Seidman Cancer Center, fighting Paul’s battle with lymphoma. So in honor of his memory, I’m once again raising funds for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. I haven’t done that since my Woman of the Year campaign with LLS in 2017. I’m taking part in their annual Light the Night event–it will be virtual in 2020. If you’re so inclined, here’s the link to donate. I’m also doing it to remember my sister Diana, who passed away in July of 2019 from leukemia. She will be laid at her final resting place this coming October, at Arlington National Cemetery, to honor her military service. Have I mentioned that cancer sucks? It does.

Meanwhile, friends: wear your masks, register to vote in November–and find joy in small ways. Cheers to hanging in there~


Support Your Local Black-Owned Brewery

June 5, 2020

What a year 2020 has turned out to be. COVID-19 kept us inside, and made us appreciate the little things in life, like sharing a beer with friends at the local brewpub. Then yet another death of a black man at the hands of police, and racial tensions boiled over–something that was overdue in this […]

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