I recently read an article on holiday entertaining. It suggested having a “Favorite Things” party, where everyone brings and shares a favorite item with the other partygoers. The gifts don’t have to be expensive– just something you really love: a simple kitchen gadget, a fun nail polish, or a special tea. Well, since my December is already fairly busy, I won’t […]
“The Creator made Italy from designs by Michelangelo.” ~Mark Twain “Tuscan Landscape,” 14 x 18 acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer Farmguy and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Tuscany this year, and I believe Mark Twain’s quote is spot on, because I took over 1000 photographs during our short time there. Everywhere I […]
Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1486 Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy Liberty of Poetry by Pio Fedi, 1870 Santa Croce Florence, Italy Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty. Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of […]
A friend recently asked me to post a black and white photo for seven days on social media. A few of the photos here were contenders, but didn’t make the final cut. Anyway, since I took the time to participate, I thought I would share my collection plus a few extras here as well.
The Queen’s View Many thanks to our friend and talented photographer, Doug Frassa for sharing his wonderful photographs.
Over the weekend, Farmguy and I participated in the grape harvest at a local winery just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Southwestern Virginia. Located in the Rocky Knob American Viticultural Area (AVA), Chateau Morrisette Winery sits at an elevation of nearly 3500 feet. Boasting spectacular views, it’s amid one of the most rugged and mountainous parts of the state. Although […]
The Crooked Road is a place of beauty and a place of song. It’s also known as Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail which winds through almost 300 miles of scenic terrain in Southwest Virginia. Here, music is woven into the rich tapestry of tradition. Passed down from generations, these mountain ballads and toe-tapping, old-time dance music continue to echo across the […]
The song of the Whistling Tree Frog is one of the infamous sounds of a Bermuda night. These tiny creatures create a beautiful evening sound as they accompany the gentle breezes with their sweet symphony—all from the sound of a cent! “Gleep, gleep.” Only about the size of a thumbnail, the tree frogs are slight in stature but big in presence. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’ll be surprised to discover that such a big noise can come from such a small amphibian. There are two species of Whistling Frogs (Tree Frogs) in Bermuda. The Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Eleutherodactylus gossei, the first of the two is more common and smaller while the other has almost disappeared. Both are brownish, nocturnal, living in trees near the ground and by day hiding under stones and leaves. They are one of the most characteristic night sounds of Bermuda between April and November. They can be heard island-wide when the weather is warm enough (above 69 degrees) but are most common in the Parishes of Devonshire, Paget, Pembroke and Warwick. They are not indigenous – both were introduced accidentally sometime prior to 1880, most likely on orchids imported from the Lesser Antilles. They can be found elsewhere in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but mainly can be found singing loudly at night. Here’s a snippet of the enchanting Tree Frogs’ melody. Enjoy!
In May, Scott and I celebrated our 20th anniversary in Tuscany, specifically Cortona and Florence. We chose Italy, because it’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited, and the people are lovely and welcoming. From the breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside to the art, culture, and history of its towns and cities, Italy offers so much. And, […]
I’m not much of a mixed drink connoisseur. I usually find that I enjoy wine more: sparkling, white Burgundy, and Bordeaux styles. However, a few years ago, while visiting with friends in Yorkshire, England, I discovered a cocktail that I enjoyed so much that I asked the bartender for the recipe. It’s called a Hendrick’s Collins. This cocktail is delicious and refreshing—perfect for a summer afternoon in the garden. Hendrick’s Collins *Slightly modified Ingredients: One 12 ounce Collins glass One shot of Hendrick’s Gin (distilled Scottish gin infused with rose & cucumber) 3/4 shot of St. Germain elderflower liqueur Dash of lemon 3 Cucumber slices Ice cubes Soda Water Cucumber and lemon wedge to garnish *Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Presse *Special Note: This is a sparkling beverage that’s handmade in the U.K. and mixes well with gin. I originally had it in England; however, I have purchased it at The Fresh Market grocery store in my area. It can also be ordered online at amazon.com. My preference is to use half soda water and half Belvoir Elderflower Presse in this cocktail. Preparation: Fill the Collins glasses with ice. Full size ice cubes will melt more slowly and dilute the drink more slowly. Add the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, and cucumber slices into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Cover and shake for several seconds. Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda water (and Elderflower sparkling beverage […]