Farmgirl with Santa–Circa 1975 The calendar just rolled over to December, and I can now officially start listening to Christmas music. Growing up, it wasn’t Christmastime at my house until a certain LP or 33 1/3 rpm vinyl record hit the turntable: “The Elvis Presley Christmas Album.” The lovely sounds of Elvis crooning festive tunes, both rock and gospel, was an integral part of my holiday experience, and thank goodness, I was able to find it on CD a number of years ago. All I can say, is this music completely takes me back–way back. I remember listening to these songs year after year at Christmastime: while wrapping presents when I was a little child, dancing around the kitchen while making cookies with elementary school friends, decorating the basement for a slumber party as a teenager, having a cup of hot chocolate after marching with the band (Drill/Dance Team) in an evening parade, opening presents on Christmas morning, driving home for winter break while in college, decorating the first Christmas tree in my own home, and now, sitting by a cozy fire with a glass of wine. I absolutely love these songs and memories. And, I have to say, EVERY song on this album is either fun, beautiful, or moving. If you’re not familiar with the “Elvis Presley Christmas Album,” it’s on YouTube. In my opinion, it’s a true treasure. I can’t imagine the season without it. Here’s wishing you […]
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible.” ~Audrey Hepburn; actress, icon, fabulous chick 😉 Happy Tuesday!!
Scotland 2012 Every day, I walk/run on the dreadmill–I mean treadmill and listen to all kinds of music; however, lately, I’ve been listening to Pandora’s 80’s station. And, the song, “In the Big Country” by the Scottish rock band, Big Country kept popping up. I liked it, especially the bagpipes, so here it is along with some of my favorite quotes by Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson. 🙂 “Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.” “You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.” “Wine is bottled poetry.” “Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.” “The saints are the sinners who keep on trying.” Wishing everyone a beautiful day! *Many thanks to friend and talented photographer, Doug Frassa for his lovely photographs.
Meadows of Dan, Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway Recently, 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 winery is at 3500 feet, most of its vineyards are down the mountain at 1600 feet. Chateau Morrisette Winery was founded by David Morrisette in 1978, making it among the oldest wineries in Virginia. It has 13 acres of land and produces approximately 70,000 cases of wine each year. Chardonnay, Viognier, Chambourcin, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, and Vidal blanc are among the varietals used in making Chateau Morrisette’s wines. Besides growing many of its own grapes, the winery also buys grapes from other vineyards in Virginia. Due to the state’s climate and growing season, Viognier and Cabernet Franc are some the winery’s most successful varieties. In the photos, Farmguy and I are harvesting Niagara grapes—a variety of the North American grape species Vitis labrusca. Niagara grapes are one of the few grape varieties that can grow at such a high elevation. These green grapes are table grapes and are also used in making jams, juices, and wines. They are mainly used in Chateau Morrisette’s sweet/dessert wines—Sweet Mountain Laurel and Red […]
The Cotswolds Unofficially, the beautiful hymn, “Jerusalem” is often seen as a national hymn by many English people. “Jerusalem” was originally written as a poem by William Blake in 1804. The lyrics, written by Hubert Parry, were added to music in 1916 during the gloom of WWI when an uplifting new English hymn was well received and needed. “Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land.” After visiting a number of wonderful art galleries in the Cotswolds as well as spending the last week in England’s “green and pleasant land,” I was inspired by this country’s many breathtaking landscapes to pass an afternoon painting. Here’s the result. 🙂 “Sea Dreams” 8.5 x 11.5″ acrylic on canvas. by Tonya Rieley Hengerer Enjoy your day!
Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway Meadows of Dan, Virginia “You may encounter many defeats, but you must NOT be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~Maya Angelou Happy Tuesday!
Fattoria della Talosa–Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Ornellaia–Super-Tuscan, Cordella–Montalcino Last month, I spent a delightful week in Tuscany. I wasn’t alone, though. Melody, author of the blog, Meals With Mel accompanied me on this little adventure around Florence and the Tuscan countryside. We had a fabulous time wandering around the beautiful city of Florence and marveling at the many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture—including the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. We visited The Galleria dell’ Accademia which displays Michelangelo’s, “David” sculpture as well as the Uffizi Gallery which exhibits Botticelli’s, “The Birth of Venus.” Once in the countryside, we enjoyed lots of sunshine and blue skies while truffle hunting at a beautiful farm and vineyard called, Fattoria Santa Vittoria. And, of course, we had some of the most beautiful wines in the world—mainly, but not entirely, comprised of the Sangiovese grape, an Italian red grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter.” For those of you who may not be familiar with the wines of central Italy, The Apennine Mountains, which run the length of the Italian Peninsula, dominant the wine regions of this area. Grapes are planted in the hills and valleys of this mountain range with altitude providing a moderating influence on the hot climate. It’s also important to mention that the coastal areas on both sides of the country benefit […]
Farmgirl and her Farmguy September 2017 “Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.” ~C. JoyBell C. “Sometimes the road to freedom lies in deciding you’d rather be happy than right. Is it really worth lugging around all those foul feelings just so you can be right? Think to yourself, ‘What do I have to do or not do, or think or not think, RIGHT NOW, to be happy?’ And if the answer is ‘let the jackasses think they’re right,’ then so be it.” ~Anonymous “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” ~Toni Morrison “There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky, And you ask ‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” ~Erin Hanson Happy Independence Day! 🙂
“La Vie en Rose” performed by Catherine Carraway Quartet “La Vie en Rose” is a song that expresses the bliss of being in love. It brims with pure emotion and beautiful sentiment. To me, it’s one of the loveliest songs ever written. “La Vie en Rose” or the English translation, Life Through Rosy Pink Glasses, was released as a single in 1947 by French singer, Édith Piaf and is one of her most famous and beloved songs. Édith Piaf, also known as “The Little Sparrow,” became an icon of France during World War II. She was a symbol of French passion and tenacity. Piaf’s signature song was about finding love after a trying time, and many people saw it as an anthem of hope as it was released shortly after the end of World War II. Here’s the thing: “La Vie en Rose” isn’t just a song about romance; it’s an anthem of love for life, especially when everything around you is considered a source of joy. Life through rosy pink glasses isn’t about being foolishly optimistic. Instead, it’s about a state of being, where we stop…and, are truly grateful for the many blessings and small miracles that occur in our everyday lives. Have a wonderful week!
“You can be the most beautiful person in the world and everybody sees light and rainbows when they look at you, but if you yourself don’t know it, all of that doesn’t even matter. Every second that you spend on doubting your worth, every moment that you use to criticize yourself; is a second of your life wasted, is a moment of your life thrown away. It’s not like you have forever, so don’t waste any of your seconds, don’t throw even one of your moments away.” ~ C. JoyBell C. “Strong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don’t need the approval of others.” ~Roy T. Bennett “Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.” ~Shannon L. Alder “Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn’t have the time to sit around and talk about you. What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.” ~ C. JoyBell C. “Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.” ~Shannon L. Alder “There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, […]