#weekendcoffeeshare 10/15/2016


My friend, Jenn, is back from vacation and she is coming for coffee this Saturday morning. Since we are having coffee, I’d like to invite all of you to join us! It’s still warm in my part of the world (global warming) so we’ll have our coffee and tea on the deck. I see Jenn pulling in the driveway right now. Let’s all go out on the deck. I have all kinds of coffee and tea, including decaf, for you to choose from. I even have a new green tea some of you might enjoy.

“Hello, Jenn! It’s so good to see you. Help me carry out these trays! I hope you had a great vacation!”

“Hello,” Jenn says. “Yes, we saw Greece and Turkey. It was an awesome trip. Very romantic for my husband and I. When I have my pictures, I will tell you all about it. What’s been up with you?”

“It’s been a good week, Jenn. I’ll tell you about it.”

It’s always a good week when you get to spend time with friends. I was able to have lunch with a friend at a good restaurant in Lexington one day this week. They had the best food and it’s always so nice to see Pam. After lunch, Pam had things to do and I had shopping to do. I visited a couple of my favorite stores. I have to replace winter clothes and made a trip to the mall and some other spots. Even shopped for some girly stuff like makeup, perfume. I hadn’t done that in a long time since I usually shop online. Betsy, my little dog, was being groomed by my friend, Anne, while I shopped and she looks beautiful now.

The next day, Pam, Janet, and I went to Keeneland which is always so much fun. I wrote a  blog post about that so I won’t repeat it all here. I could go to Keeneland every day and enjoy it!

The rest of the week, I have been getting ready to take a little trip this coming week. Just a short trip but I really need it! I’m going to Virginia Beach for a few days and will be leaving on Monday. I’ve been to a lot of the beaches up and down the East Coast of the US but I’ve never been to Virginia Beach. So, a friend and I decided, just on the spur of the moment, to take a few days off from life and drive to Virginia Beach while it is still warm.

I think we’re mostly going just to get away, walk on the beach, and sit and look at the waves and the horizon. We’ll probably do a little sightseeing but we haven’t decided exactly what we’ll see yet. We’ll just do serendipity and go and do whatever pleases us at the moment. We were lucky because we were able to get an oceanfront hotel room!

I have been amazed because we heard so much about how Hurricane Matthew damaged Florida and the Carolinas but we heard nothing about how Hurricane Nicole, which almost wiped out Bermuda, impacted Virginia! I’ve heard no news coverage of that at all. The concierge at our hotel told me that they had water in some of the guest rooms, a lot of wind, beach erosion, and even a road closed. The hurricane was hundreds of miles off the coast. Lucky for us, the hotel has been able to get everything repaired so we can go on with our visit. We’ll be back at the end of the week. I’m really looking forward to the trip!

I’m making excellent progress on getting my sunroom converted to a writing room. After I return from Virginia Beach, it will only take another week to get it ready to go, if that. We’re working on the heat and air conditioning. I have the furniture, some of the art work, some tapestries for an extra dose of warmth, and I’m still on the fence about window coverings. I want the windows as open as possible but I also need to be able to cover them when necessary with something insulating. If anyone out there has a suggestion, please send it along!

I’m really excited because I plan to spend the remainder of 2016 writing my book in my writing room. I hope to have it completed by the end of the year and off to the publisher.

I don’t usually do much for the holidays, so while everyone else is doing the holiday thing, I’m going to just write. The holidays have been a down time of year for me for years since I lost my parents at Christmas and don’t have much family left. Writing will bring me comfort this year. I usually just sort of suffer through it and pretend I’m in the holiday spirit even though I’m usually not. I’ve also had some other problems this year and I’m trying to deal with those. Problems make the holidays difficult so I’m hoping to avoid that.

That’s about all that’s been going on this week except I think everyone is worried about this crazy Presidential campaign that we have going on and what the outcome will be. The second debate was disturbing. Who knows about the third debate?

Maybe, Jenn, next weekend, we can share vacation pictures and I’ll tell you about Virginia Beach! I’ll hope to see you next Saturday, along with all my friends who read this blog! Have a great week, everyone! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #VirginiaBeach #Keeneland #travel

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Destination Travel: Keeneland Race Track in Bluegrass Country

I am lucky enough to live just about 60 miles from the most beautiful horse country in America – the area around Lexington, Kentucky. The horse racing track located here is Keeneland Race Track, ranked in 2009 as the #1 premier horse racing track in the United States by the Horseplayers Association of America. Keeneland has two racing meets per year. One in April for 4 weeks and one in October for 3 weeks. Here is a photo of two horses in the padlock in the 2016 October meet:

Besides racing, Keeneland does many other things. They have sales meets every year at which some of the best all-time race horses have been sold. Nineteen Kentucky Derby winners have been sold at Keeneland along with 21 Preakness and 18 Belmont winners. Eighty-two of 88 Breeder’s Cup World Championship race winners have been sold at Keeneland.

.The atmosphere at Keeneland can’t be beat. It is a bit old-world and certainly “old Lexington” and reminiscent of the thoroughbred industry of both the past and the present. Lots of old and new money changing hands but the common person off the street can also have lots of fun. There is seating from general admission at $5 per person to very expensive box seating. You can always “ride the rail” and feel the dirt being kicked in your face by the horses as they pound the track running by.

The dining options are extraordinary with three fancy dining rooms. Make your reservations way in advance! Then there are the equivalent of fast-food restaurants but many serve a Keeneland specialty food called Kentucky burgoo which is a type of stew. Burgoo can be made out of almost anything. The recipe is a closely guarded secret. Rumor has it that it may have rabbit, squirrel, or other game meats in it.


Of course there is the gambling. Betting on horses is certainly gambling. Racing forms abound at Keeneland and there are experts sitting around in the most varying costumes. There are also ATM machines which this writer advises you to stay away from!


The betting window


There are so many things to do at Keeneland. You can go there early in the morning, watch the horses exercise, and sometimes have breakfast. They have a famous equine library you can peruse. Their gift shop and its merchandise is to die for. Arrange a trip to the backside (the stables) if you can and see the horses, grooms, and what really goes on in racing stables up close and personal.

There is also the quite fascinating people watching. Sit on a bench, relax, and watch the quite varied types of people who wander through Keeneland Race Track. That will entertain you all by itself. This is truly a travel destination. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Keeneland



Kentucky Derby Week: American Pharoah


It’s Kentucky Derby week! The Week of the Horse. Even though some say horse racing is on the wane, you would never know it this week. In fact, you would never know it in Kentucky at all. Kentucky is the thoroughbred horse capital of the world though others try, on occasion, to steal that claim to fame. They have never succeeded! Particularly not after the 2015 Kentucky Derby. America and, perhaps the world, fell in love with a plain brown colt named American Pharoah. Even his name was misspelled! But Pharoah didn’t let that or anything else stop him. He won the Kentucky Derby, and then the Triple Crown coupled with the Breeder’s Cup Classic. He was the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Affirmed won it and the first Grand Slam winner ever…….the Grand Slam being all four races.

What is so special about this brown colt, born and bred in Kentucky? Some horses are just special. Secretariat was special, like Seattle Slew and Man ‘O War were special. Pharoah has a gentle temperament. Thoroughbred horses are known for many things but a gentle temperament is not one of them. Instead, many are temperamental and nervous. Pharoah loves his adoring public and during his racing seasons, and now while he is standing at stud, his public goes to visit him in hordes.

Something else special about American Pharoah. For over 40 years, horse racing has been trying to find another Secretariat, that very special big red horse that won the Triple Crown and broke all speed records. Secretariat certainly posted a faster time in the Belmont Stakes than Pharoah, but unbelievably, Pharoah actually accelerated in the final quarter mile of the Belmont, won the race going away, and beat Secretariat’s quarter mile time by 0.68 of a second.

I personally know Pharoah loves his tribe because I am one of them and I have visited Pharoah at his home at Ashford Stud near Versailles, KY. He poses for the crowds, tall and proud. He is not a bit nervous but very calm. When you get close to him, he has a kind, quiet look in his eyes and he meets your gaze lovingly. He does not shy away. They say that now, even during his breeding season, he is still our calm, sweet Pharoah even while getting at least 80 mares in foal. I can’t wait for his first foal.

In some ways, American Pharoah revived horse racing. He retired to stud with a record of 9-1-0. Not only does he have a breeding career ahead of him, you can’t turn around in Kentucky without seeing someone wearing some piece of American Pharoah merchandise……a jacket, a cap, or something.

They say he loves to go out in his paddock in the mornings before his breeding and public visiting sessions and have a run and a good roll in the mud. Just once, I would like to climb over that paddock fence onto his back, go for that run with him, feel his powerful muscles, and see the world through those big brown eyes. #anericanpharoah #kentuckyderby #triplecrown