Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Hermannhoff Winery courtesy Missouri's Wine CountryA couple of weekends ago I was supposed to be in Missouri’s Wine Country. I was looking forward to spending a few days with the other mamas at Travel Media Showcase, and then I was to take a train to Hermann, MO to begin exploring the area. Thanks to Gustav, my plans were foiled. No days of tasting vino, enjoying daily picnics and fine dining, or relaxing at various B & B’s.

    Instead, I was either stuck at work answering 911 calls or visiting with all the people who ended up hanging out at my house because I had power. My washing machine washed non-stop as friends and family began to run out of clean clothes after Gustav. I didn’t mind, really. But I couldn’t help wishing I was somewhere else. Milk was running low, the bread had all been eaten, and I was getting very tired of eating Slim Jims. FEMA does a wonderful job of advising people what they need to prepare for natural disasters, but they did leave out a few things, like wine.

    So, I decided to have my own wine tasting with the libations I have collected through my travels. My sister-in-law and my neighbor joined me in this exploration of the taste buds. Sometimes a mama just has to roll with the punches, so if this mama couldn’t get away physically, then I would take a mental vacation. We went high-class and broke out the fine Dixie cups we had on hand. At this point, we weren’t really concerned with rules of wine tasting or being proper Southern women. And so the journey began….

    Louisiana – We started with Evangeline, a muscadine wine from Feliciana Cellars.

    Tennessee – I stopped in at Shady Grove Meadery during a visit to Oak Ridge, TN. I like to read romance novels, and mead has been mentioned once or twice in a few of these books. I always wondered what it tasted like. We sampled the Poplar/Clover Mead It is a honey-based drink that is a bit heavier than traditional wines. On another visit to this beautiful state, I picked up some apple wine from the Apple Barn Winery in Sevierville. We tasted an apple-raspberry wine that was nice, but super sweet.

    Germany – Ok, so I haven’t visited Germany yet, but I did go to Epcot at DisneyWorld in Orlando. On my last visit, I picked up a bottle of Eiswein. I had been saving it for a special occasion because it is so expensive, so surviving another Hurricane seemed as good a time as any. It is produced from grapes that were frozen while still on the vine. It is a very sweet dessert wine and should be served in small quantities. Did I mention that I LOVE Eiswein?

    Hawaii – What can I say about the pineapple wine? Yummy!

    We had to stop there before the room started spinning. We giggled and laughed and kept telling war stories about memorable hurricanes that have passed, like Andrew, Katrina, Rita, and Tropical Storm Allison. In the Gulf States, we refer to these storms by name (and call them a few names as well). We even came up with a new word, Craptastic. You know, when things get crappy but all you can do is laugh. Well, we had a craptastic time enjoying a few bottles of wine. Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to see Missouri’s Wine Country. I’ll add it to my list.

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  • So now we get national coverage because of a massive food stamp line?


    Where was the national media when the entire state was just trying to get water? Do ya think I’m a little frustrated? If this was a major city in the Northeast U.S. or even in California, then coverage of Hurricane Gustav aftermath would’ve been everywhere for days.

    How does Florida do it? How do they handle all the hurricanes that come through yet manage to still look so pretty and rosy soon after? I want to know their secret. Maybe I should move to the Florida Keys. They have hurricane evacuations down to an art. Send me back to the Keys, please!

    If anyone is planning a vacation to the Baton Rouge area in the next few weeks, I’d go for Plan B.

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  • As many of you are aware, Hurricane Gustav has impacted the entire state of Louisiana, which is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. FEMA has assisted with some basic items such as water and tarps. Red Cross has opened very few shelters and provide only basic necessities. Most hospitals in the Baton Rouge area have been closed due to the extended power outages and failure of generators. Ironically, these patients have been moved to New Orleans hospitals for care. One facility still open and full to capacity is Baton Rouge Woman’s Hospital.

    Woman’s Hospital is where I was born and where I delivered both of my children. As of this moment, there are many mamas in need who are in the process of delivering or have their special needs babies being cared for in the NICU. Critical care patients are being evacuated at this time, but the following items(new and unopened only) are desperately needed for other patients:

  • Newborn and preemie diapers
  • Car seats for newborns
  • Baby wipes
  • Pack and plays
  • Newborn baby one piece clothes (“onesies”)
  • See Woman’s Hopital’s Official Hurricane Relief page to send these items or to donate money.

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  • Yesterday MountainMama posted about Gustav, the Gulf Coast, and that my area is being drenched right now. I’ll do my best to post updates here on this post about Gustav. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have left with power and internet, because I can hear the wind battering the doors and windows of my home. I am fortunate though, that I am not in an area that needed to be evacuated.

    Here are some links to help find family members or to volunteer your services:

    Red Cross Safe and Well List

    LAVA – Medical Volunteers through LA Dept Health and Hospitals


    Tiger TV

    UPDATE: This video was taken with my Flip Ultra on Sept 2, 2008. FEMA still has not showed up to our area with tarps, water, ice, or MREs. Keep checking back here for more videos and updates.

    Update: 8pm – East Baton Rouge Parish still under mandatory curfew. The FEMA supplies have been found. They’ve been in Baton Rouge all day. WBRZ News reported that FEMA had been able to get a response from EBR EOC to facilitate drop-off points of supplies.

    Update: 09/03 – I showed up to work early this morning in the dark only to find the national guard blocking the road. The hallways were filled with these men and women sleeping on the floor with machine guns in hand. I don’t know if they realize how much they are appreciated right now. I want to specify that yes, I do have power, but I am one of very few people in this state with electricity. I’m not questioning things, but maybe it is so I can continue to update all of you on what is really happening here. Gas is in extreme short supply. I have drinking water, but in other outlying parishes, they are having to boil water to drink. There are very few FEMA supply points giving out tarps, water, MREs (military ready to eat meals), and ice. The lines were more than three miles long in Baker, LA for these items. Many grocery stores that have lost power are giving away perishable items for residents to consume before they spoil. President Bush was in town today to access the damage. It was kind of funny to see some Louisiana top officials clamoring to be seen right behind the president on TV. My home has become a haven for friends and family searching for light in the dark….literally 🙂 All will be well soon, I hope.

    09/04 – Woman’s Hospital is in need of items. See this post.

    Baton Rouge Disaster Food Stamp Lines

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