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Limousin Oak Barrels

Oak Barrels in Cognac, France

Oak Barrels in Cognac, France

What Is So Interesting About Limousin Oak Barrels?

Limousin is not a wine producing area, it isn't famous for its brandy, nor does it make whisky, but Limousin oak is an essential part of the fine wine and spirits industries all over the world.

This beautiful, but hidden part of central France is a landscape of meadows and oak and sweet chestnut forests. Sparsely populated and rich in wildlife, visiting Limousin is like stepping back fifty years into a golden, agrarien past.

Little-known though Limousin is, it's world famous for three things: its top quality Limousin beef cattle, its fine and durable Limoges porcelain and its oak barrels (or oak casks).

The cognac and brandy producers of Cognac in France use Limousin oak to make their barrels. So do the whisky makers of Scotland and wine-makers.

Just why is oak from Limousin so highly prized?

Limousin oak

Limousin oak

Why Limousin Oak?

There are several oak producing regions around the world, that are used for barrel production. The French are Argonne, Vosges, Nevers, Tronçais, Allier, Bourgogne, Armagnac (Landes) and Limousin. I live in Limousin.

Oak used in winemaking is typically produced from trees of three different species: American White Oak, (or Quercus alba), Quercus sessilis and Quercus pedunculata.

The forests of Limousin rejoice in the Quercus pedunculata. The wonderful climate, warm but with plenty of rainfall, the soil and rocky growing conditions give Limousin oak a very coarse grain which is not great for winemaking but is ideal to age Cognac and Bourbon.

Image: Walks through oak woods near Videix

Where is Limousin? - In South West France

How Oak Barrels Are Made? - And who makes barrels or casks these days?

Barrels are traditionally made by coopers. Barrels are wooden staves bound together with metal hoops, but barrels are only one type of the containers made by coopers; other types go under the names of casks, (the generic word for everything a cooper makes), barrels, buckets, tubs, hogsheads, tuns, butts, pins firkins, tierces, rundlets, puncheons, butter churns, pipes, and breakers. A barrel is specifically a measure of the size of a cask.

Today the use of traditionally made casks and barrels is mostly limited to the wine and spirits industry where coopers now work with machines to make barrels, but it's still considered that the creme de la creme of barrels are those hand-made by professional coopers.

The History of The Barrel

When was the barrel invented?

The Ancient Gauls Invented the Technique of Making Barrels Or at least that's what I was told when I visited the Gaulois village Coriobona.

Coriobona is a village that recreates the life of the ancient Gauls. It's is just north of Confolens in South West France, near the village of Esse and just forty minutes or so from Les Trois Chenes. It was a super outing and we had a wonderful day looking around the village and then visiting the nearby towns of Lesterps and Confolens.

to get back to the origins of the barrel. The fact that barrels are made from wood makes their earliest use difficult to pinpoint and it's true that wine was first stored and transported in the amphora (an earthenware pot). Herodotus, the Greek historian, tells us that ancient Mesopotamians made casks from palm wood - which is hard to bend into shape) to transport wine along the Euphrates.

Oak has been used to make wine casks for at least two millennia, their use became widespread during the Roman empire - which brings us back to the ancient Gauls. It was only a question of time before it was discovered that the oak played a part in the taste of the wine and it would seem that it was as late as the 1960s and 1970s before experiments were made by Robert Mondavi before wine-makers in the United States quantified the contribution that different types of oak and barrel styles made to the quality of the final product.

Oak Wine Barrel

Oak Wine Barrel

Why the Oak Cask Affects the Flavours

And so why Limousin oak casks are so famous

Each tree, each year in each forest in each country is different! When you think that some cognacs, for example Rémy Martin Grand Cru, will sell for well over USD $1500 per bottle, every little consideration counts.

Oak trees have a growth spurt in Spring and in a good year they'll grow very fast. This leads to a coarser grain which is said to have coarser tannins and lead to less subtle flavours. Because of this each barrel is made with a range of differing woods.

But it's not only the growing that leads to differing flavours. This is just the start of the process. The oak is harvested and then carefully stored. The exact place in the wood pile will also affect the oak.

One of the most important parts of the process, as far as flavour is concerned, is the toasting of the barrel. This is when the barrels staves are held over a flame, and the taste of the wine depends on the strength of the flame, the time toasted, the water content of the oak, and many other variables. No wonder some of these wines and spirits are so highly prized.

I wonder what effect global warming and changing climates will have on our wines and spirits.

Image courtesy of Gerard Prins Wikimedia Commons

Brandy Making in Cognac - Limousin oak barrels are used to make brandy

Chateau Baron Otard Cognac

Chateau Baron Otard Cognac

What is cognac? It's a type of brandy made in the town of Cognac in the Charente, south west France.

Brandy making in the Charente is big business and it's deffinitely worth a visit, whether you like brandy or not, to visit the many chateaux that will allow you in to see how the brandy is made, and, of course, give you the opportunity to buy. There are so many big names, and less well known companies who produce brandy here - Courvoisier, Hennessy, Martell, Rémy Martin, Bache-Gabrielsen/Dupuy, Braastad, Camus, Chateau Fontpinot, Delamain, Pierre Ferrand, Frapin, Gaston de Casteljac, Hine, Marcel Ragnaud, Moyet, Otard, and Cognac Croizet.

The flavours in the cognac derived from Limousin oak depend on so many things. Newer casks contain more tanninsso are often used for the newly distilled eaux-de-vie and will give the cognac a darker, stronger oak flavour. Cognac masters will use several different barrels to create a 'house style'.

Image: Chateau Otard, Cognac

Whisky Making in Scotland

Are Scotch whisky barrels always second-hand?

Scotland is the perfect place to make whisky. Cool temperatures and clean air suround the oak of the casks and affects the maturing contents. This is why Scottish whisky is smooth, golden and so highly prized.

Traditionally the Scottish whisky industry used second hand, 500-litre sherry casks called butts however due to a scarcity of these during the Spanish civil war, 1930s, the Scotch distilleries had to look elsewhere.

We have seen that barrels affect flavour and while some producers, like Labrot & Graham, makers of bourbon choose new barrels, others, such as Glenmorangie chooses used bourbon casks. Most Scottish distillers prefer the more subtle flavours of old, mellowed wood.

The flavours are honed by different use of oak and barrels. Some finish their whisky in different casks for a year or two, to modify the flavour and Limousin Quercus robur oak barrel previously used to mature cognac, is used to give special flavours to the Glenlivet 12-year-old whisky. ,

St. George Spiritsin America, has begun to experiment with barrels in it's production of single malt whisky. They used bourbon barrels (82%), new French oak barrels, (12%), and port casks, (6%). Such finess shows the importance of the barrel to the final taste of whisky.

It's Spelled 'Whiskey' When It Comes From Ireland

So What is the difference between Scottish and Irish Whiskey?

Apart from the spelling! Well, for a start, the Irish claim that it was they who invented the drink. There are other more tangible differences which lie in the methods used to produce the whiskey.

The big difference between Scottish and Irish whisky is the distilling phase which is made three times with Irish, instead of twice with Scottish whisky, and the Irish whiskey is distilled in larger than normal copper "pot" stills. This creates an Irish whiskey that is lighter and with a more delicate and subtle flavour.

The Scots sprout the barley before drying. The Irish use raw and malted barley dried with peat smoke, while Scottish whisky is made entirely with malted barley.

Finally Scottish whiskey is left to age in the cask at least 2 years while Irish whiskey is kept for a minimum of one year longer.

Did You Know That Whisky Is Made In France?

And part of their success lies in the Limousin barrel

I did think that all the best whisky was made in Scotland or Ireland until today, but I now know that for the last 80 years French distilleries have been making single malt whisky. The industry is particularly developed in Brittany because of the salty climate. A new style of whisky has been created at Finister, 'le Eddu'.

At least part of the success of French Whisky production lies in the ready availability of good barrels. French whisky producers are getting some incredible results from maturation in barrels that have been used in the production of French wines, including white, red, sweet, dry, fortified, and even sparkling wine such as the famous Champagne.

For example Brenne Whisky from the Brenne Estate launched in October 2012, is matured in new Limousin oak barrels and then finished in barrels previously used as Cognac casks. Bastille 1789 Hand-Crafted Whisky made at the Daucourt Distillery (Distillerie Daucourt) is aged for 5 - 7 years in a combination of French Limousin oak, cherry wood and acacia casks.

Cognac barrels in Chateau Baron Otard, cognac, France

Cognac barrels in Chateau Baron Otard, cognac, France

The Angels Share

If the angels don't take their share - the rest is not worth taking!

Sometimes called the Angels' Portion, this is the share of the brandy or whisky that's said to be taken by the angels.

Because the oak of the barrels is porous, moisture can pass through it. A proportion of the spirits in each cask evaporates annually and is lost to the heavens. This is known as the "angels' share" or the Angels' Portion.

The exact amount of the Angels' Share seem to vary according to differing accounts. Some say it's normally between 1 to 2,5% a year, while others propose up to 8% loss in the first year, and about 3% each year after that. If you assume an evaporation rate of 2.5%, over 50 years a 350 litre barrel of cognac will lose 40% of it's alcohol.

A barrel's surroundings affect this evaporation. Humid atmospheres with moderate temperatures will lead to more alcohol than water evaporating through the wood. Dry air and high temperatures will result in more water being lost.

If this loss doesn't occur, there may be a problem with the barrel and this leads to the saying that If the angels don't take their share - the rest isn't worth taking!

The Angels Share - The book of the new film by Ken Loach

Read The Angels' Share by Ken Loach and Paul Laverty on Kindle

barrels

Limousin Oak Wine Barrels

Variety is the spice of life

As mentioned above, Limousin oak is not always the first choice for the wine industry, Quercus alba, and Quercus sessilis are preferred.

Winemakers try to balance the fruit and oak flavours in their wine, but every year fruit from the same region and oak from the same forest, made into barrels by the same cooper will yield different tastes.

This is because every patch of the forest and vineyard is unique, every year the weather will be different. Oak and grape vines are natural products, and that is all part of the fascination of wine.

Has This Whetted Your Appetite for Limousin? - Or just for the whisky?

If you do make it here, do visit us. Les Trois Chenes Bed and Breakfast is wonderfully placed right on the border of the Limousin and the Charente. Walk in the woods of Limousin and visit the brandy chateaux of Cognac.

Find this image on posters and a whole range of gifts that you can personalize at my online store

Find this image on posters and a whole range of gifts that you can personalize at my online store

Oak Barrel Shabby Chic Poster

This Oak cask makes a wonderful ornament in this beautiful garden

I've made my photo of a Limousin oak barrel in a barn of my friends into a poster on Zazzle. You can buy it and you can personalize it by adding your own images and text. She has a wonderful touch and has decorated her barn just enough to make it interesting but not enough to spoil the authenticity of a French barn built for animals and hay and you get a glimpse of the lovely garden beyond.

You Too Can Own A Genuine Oak Barrel - Or something made from old oak barrels

They are beautiful objects! When we moved into our French farmhouse, there were several barrels left in the barns and I cherish them. We also find lots of bits of barrels, the staves, the metal hoops. I use the barrels as tables and planters and the hoops as decorations in the garden.

You too can have your very own oak barrels and decorative objects made from barrels. Here are just a few to choose from ....

Oak Barrles at the Wine Festival at the Caves of Saint Sornin - St Sornin, Charente

barrels-St-Sornin

barrels-St-Sornin

St Sornin is in the Charente next to Limousin so do try to catch the festival - it's a great day out for all the family with lots of wine on show, but also a wide variety of local French produce.

The Oak Trees at Videix, Limousin

barrels

Coopers From Around the World - Making barrels and casks is a worldwide business

  • Nashabochka

    This barrel making business is situated in the Krasnodar region in the South of Russia on the coast of the Black Sea and is one of the oldest in the country. It was established 1949 in response to the increasing demand for grapes, wine and cognac.

Do You Have Any Thoughts on Limousin or Barrels? - I'd love to hear from you

Paul Lenton from El Calafate, Argentina on November 28, 2013:

I'm into making barrels (small ones of less than a gallon) as a hobby. Nice article!

Barbara Walton (author) from France on October 04, 2013:

@40974097: I read your web site with great interest and have put a link and some information about your business onto this article. I hope that it is all correct. Do get back to me if I've made errors, especially in the name of the company which I couldn't find on the site.

Could I add one of the photos from your site?

Barbara Walton (author) from France on October 04, 2013:

@40974097: Hi, many thanks for leaving this message. I'll certainly take a look at your site and maybe add a paragraph or two to the article.

40974097 on October 04, 2013:

Hello!

We are producing oak barrels from durmast (rocky oak) from the South Russia region.

For more information visit www.nashabochka.ru

Birthday Wishes from Here on August 11, 2013:

Very nice lens, I have learned a few things! Thanks a lot for sharing!

anonymous on August 07, 2013:

Very interesting information about the barrels.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on July 31, 2013:

Fascinating. Would love to visit this region of the world. I won't be having any of that $1,500 a bottle cognac any time soon! Congrats on LotD!

Bill from Gold Coast, Australia on July 28, 2013:

As soon as I saw the word Limousin I knew that this would have to be a Lens from you!

Congrats on LOTD. :-)

I have been to a Scotch distillery in Scotland, it was a fascinating tour. I saw plenty of barrels there just like these!

philipcaddick on July 28, 2013:

Very interesting, such a lot of detail.

slpsharon on July 28, 2013:

What a wonderful lens. Great video as well.

SBPI Inc on July 27, 2013:

Congratulations on your uniquely informative lens and on earning LOD designation.

Jonathan

poppy mercer from London on July 27, 2013:

I really enjoyed learning about Limousin and it's oak. I don't know Limousin well but I know the Gers part of France just a bit further down, and l have always enjoyed the Cognac and the wonderful oak forests there. You are very lucky to live in such a lovely place.

Karen Kay from Jackson, MS on July 27, 2013:

Fascinating! I learned something new today!

emmanuel-oforianson on July 27, 2013:

You deserve the lens of the day. Congrats!!

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on July 27, 2013:

Hi great info on these barrels, and what in them. Congrats on LOTD.

anonymous on July 27, 2013:

very educational

chi kung on July 27, 2013:

Such an interesting read! - congratulations on your LoTD :)

fifinn on July 26, 2013:

Congratulation for LTOD.

GrammieOlivia on July 26, 2013:

I learnt a whole lot of stuff that I did not know before, you have made a very informative and interesting lens. Congratulations of LoTD you deserve it! Now I can also tell my sweetling a thing or two that he doesn't know! lol

Mary Stephenson from California on July 26, 2013:

Congratulations on LOTD. Very interesting about needing different kinds of barrels for wine vs brandy.

CrazyHomemaker on July 26, 2013:

Congrats on LOTD! This was very interesting. I learned quite a bit. You are fortunate to live in such a beautiful area.

DebMartin on July 26, 2013:

Beautiful lens. And beautiful barrels. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge. I learned a lot.

Richard from Surrey, United Kingdom on July 26, 2013:

Many congratulations on your Lens of the Day :)

StevenLay on July 26, 2013:

For my money the finest white oak barrel is made from oak harvested in the Ozarks area of Missouri. Several families harvest and produce the staves but, the area around Salem, Missouri are the best. You can take that to the bank.

sbconcepts on July 26, 2013:

Very interesting story, loved reading and the pictures were great! Thanks for a great lens!

EpicEra on July 26, 2013:

What a gorgeous and professionally done lens - congrats on LOTD!

Tom Christen from Switzerland/Ecuador on July 26, 2013:

A really great and informative lens! Congrats on LOTD!

Delia on July 26, 2013:

Congratulations on LOTD! I'm a Brandy and Cognac girl... Limousin Oak barrels make a difference!

Barbara Walton (author) from France on July 26, 2013:

Thank you all so much for leaving such nice and informative comments on my lens. I was thrilled when, on a VERY hectic and busy day, I finally sat down at the computer and saw that this had been nominated LOTD. Please forgive me for not answering you individually now as the busy day continues!

Jogalog on July 26, 2013:

I don't know much about any type of barrels but congratulations on LOTD!

hmommers on July 26, 2013:

I thought Limousin was famous for its cows. What do I know. :)

Congratulations on the LotD

EzLoanLookUp LM on July 26, 2013:

This lens is making me real thirsty!

eight dee on July 26, 2013:

lotd - never knew so much about these oak barrels

Northerntrials on July 26, 2013:

Such a long tradition goes into barrel making. I wanted to be a cooper when I was young. What can I say, I live in the past. I have settled to using oak barrel planters in my yard.

amosvee on July 26, 2013:

And I thought that the distillers' talk about their barrels were just marketing tools. Very interesting.

Raymond Eagar on July 26, 2013:

It is nearly time to knock of and enjoy that limousine brandy.

getmoreinfo on July 26, 2013:

This information about barrel production.for winemaking is really interesting.

Gregory Moore from Louisville, KY on July 26, 2013:

Well done and very informative lens. I live in bourbon-country here in the states, and my grandparents lived near a cooperage. I had always wanted to tour it.

anonymous on July 26, 2013:

Like the inside baseball on the spirits industry. Congratulations on getting LotD!

Scott A McCray on July 26, 2013:

Outstanding! Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

Robin S from USA on July 26, 2013:

Congratulations on Lens of the Day today!

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on July 26, 2013:

Interesting info. Congratulations on LotD!

Angela F from Seattle, WA on July 26, 2013:

So much rich history here - would love to visit and see how it's all put together, from the barrels to the brandy :)

Stephen J Parkin from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada on July 26, 2013:

The oak certainly makes a difference to the finished product, be it wine cognac or whiskey! Well done on LOTD!

Sweetbunny LM on July 26, 2013:

Great informative lens, congratulations!

marktplaatsshop on July 26, 2013:

Congratulations on LotD, it is well deserved, thanks for sharing this wonderful lens

DreyaB on July 26, 2013:

I've recently moved to Limousin and enjoy the wonderful oaks around the area. Having not been here very long I had no idea that the oak was prized and made for barrels. Great lens, congrats!

Erin Mellor from Europe on July 26, 2013:

Once you get your nose in you can tell where the oak barrels that wine has matured in has come from. It's easy to tell the difference between French and American, and as it's used for very different wines, Croatian Oak, but my old wine tutor took pride in being able to identify which French forest the oak was from. Limousin was, of course, his favorite.

Meganhere on July 26, 2013:

Very interesting. I especially liked the bit about the Angels' Share.

Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on July 25, 2013:

I had no idea the barrel had anything to do with flavor. Neat.

anonymous on July 25, 2013:

Fantastic information! Now I'm thirsty.

rattie lm on July 25, 2013:

Just lovely. Thank you.

Brian Stephens from France on July 13, 2012:

I know a little more about oak barrels now. Nice lens

sandi_x on June 29, 2012:

Interesting lens

WriterJanis2 on June 25, 2012:

Beautifully done.

JoshK47 on June 25, 2012:

What fascinating insight on the barrel and alcohol making industries - quite cool! Blessed by a SquidAngel! :)

Edwinrocks on June 23, 2012:

great lense...

KimGiancaterino on June 22, 2012:

Wow ... your lens is really popular. Good to see. Anyway, I got your message and will get some barrel photos to you ASAP.

anonymous on June 17, 2012:

Gotta' bless this pretty lens on wood barrels. :)

fullofshoes on June 17, 2012:

Fabulous lens with interesting info. Loved reading this... ~blessed~

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@anonymous: It's 'wood'. One of two new themes. I do think it's nice and like the overall format and "classier" look to the page.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@ndAirborneMedic1: I must say that I've never really thought much about barrels before going to see how the cognac was made. Food for thought. Thanks for leaving a comment, 82ndAirborneMedic

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@SteveKaye: You'll just have to save your pennies Steve. I'm sure you'd find it fascinating here. We're in a huge area that has been designated a natural reserve because of the quality of its fauna and flora.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@Lee Hansen: The older we get, the less we know! There seems to be so much more to everything than meets the eye, doesn't there? One thing I love about writing online is learning about things. I'd never bother to do the research otherwise.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@UKGhostwriter: I jut home that I can get to see them making them. That would be something to write home about! Thanks for your message, UKGhostwriter

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@Craftypicks: I like that bit too, RockinPicks. Very romantic!

anonymous on June 16, 2012:

What's the name of this lens theme? I've never sene it before.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@CCTVwebmaster: Kind of you to leave a few kind words, CCTVwebmaster

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@Anthony Altorenna: Thanks Anthony. Even the most humble objects have fabulous histories. This is just a start. There's just so much to learn just about the barrels, never mind the drinks!

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@Alethia LM: Thaks, Alethia

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@Lenskeeper: Thanks so much for the blessing, Lenskeeper.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@SoSimplyStephanie: I think the whole subject is fascinating, whether you drink or not, Stephanie. I very rarely touch spirits, but thoroughly enjoyed visiting the chateau and learning about the process.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@Sam Wheeler: Thanks, writewheeler

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@nicks44: Every silver lining has a cloud! Sigh ...

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@datakrunch: Kind of you to drop by, datakrunch.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@AlexTedford: Thanks Alex.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 16, 2012:

@allenwebstarme: Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave a few words, allenwebstarme

ndAirborneMedic1 on June 15, 2012:

Very interesting and informative lens. Wooden barrels

have always been interesting to me. Keep writing great lenses!

SteveKaye on June 15, 2012:

Thank you for publishing this wonderful story. I found it fascinating. And I wish you were just a hop down the road for where I live, instead of a huge flight across the Atlantic.

Lee Hansen from Vermont on June 15, 2012:

Absolutely fascinating and informative lens. I didn't realize the importance of *where* the oak comes from but it makes so much sense. Anything in contact with or part of the fermentation and aging process plays a part in the quality and flavor ... ahhhh.

UKGhostwriter on June 15, 2012:

I really hope that this craft never dies - fantastic lens

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 14, 2012:

@cleanyoucar: Thanks for the 'like', cleanyoucar. Pleased you enjoyed it.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 14, 2012:

@sheezie77: Many thanks, sheezie77!

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 14, 2012:

@squidoopets: Hi, squidoopets. In a way, that's the problem - too many interesting things! Thanks for stopping by.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 14, 2012:

@alex89 lm: It is pretty good living here most of the time. Many thanks for your comment alex89

Lori Green from Las Vegas on June 14, 2012:

I love the part about the Angel Share.

CCTVwebmaster on June 14, 2012:

Fantastic lens! So interesting!

Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on June 14, 2012:

I've enjoyed many wood barrel products, especially wine & Scotch, without really knowing the history behind the aging process. Thanks for sharing!

Alethia LM on June 13, 2012:

Awesome lens!

Lenskeeper on June 13, 2012:

Blessed by a Squid Angel.

Stephanie from DeFuniak Springs on June 13, 2012:

Great lens. While I don't drink often, I love the old barrels. They make beautiful, rustic planters!

Sam Wheeler on June 13, 2012:

very informative

nicks44 on June 13, 2012:

You know, very well made, excellent info, well put together, but ... There is a but! And I reckon you know which ... I am thirsty! I shall catch up later, thanks! :)

datakrunch on June 13, 2012:

Nice lens, interesting topic.

AlexTedford on June 13, 2012:

Great lens! Nice info.

allenwebstarme on June 13, 2012:

You choose a nice topic, very good lens.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 12, 2012:

@sandi_x: Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment sandi-x.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 12, 2012:

@Julia Morais: That would be an interesting thing to look into. You can see from all the variables and the time it takes to mature the drinks that there's bound to be a very few where everything comes together - but rarely.

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 12, 2012:

@RoadMonkey: Thanks for these three, kind words, RoadMonkey. Short but so very sweet!

Barbara Walton (author) from France on June 12, 2012:

@AgingIntoDisabi: Thanks for dropping by, AgingIntoDisability. So much to know about even the most familiar things.

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