Tuesday Tunes: Caledonia

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. ūüôā   “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.

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Tuesday Tunes: The Grapevine

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 […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Jerusalem

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. ūüôā “Sea Dreams” 8.5 x 11.5″¬†acrylic on canvas. by Tonya Rieley¬†Hengerer   Enjoy your day!

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Tuesday Tunes: You Learn

Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway Meadows of Dan, Virginia   ‚ÄúYou 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.‚ÄĚ ~Maya Angelou       Happy Tuesday!

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Tuesday Tunes: Drops of Jupiter…And a Little Bit of Heaven

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 […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Freedom…And Happiness

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! ūüôā

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Tuesday Tunes: Life In Pink

“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, √Čdith Piaf and is one of her most famous and beloved songs. √Čdith 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!  

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Tuesday Tunes: Shine!

  ‚ÄúYou 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.‚ÄĚ ~ C. JoyBell C. ‚ÄúStrong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don‚Äôt need the approval of others.‚ÄĚ ~Roy T. Bennett ‚ÄúEvery 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.‚ÄĚ ~Shannon L. Alder ‚ÄúLife 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.‚ÄĚ ~ C. JoyBell C. ‚ÄúAnger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.‚ÄĚ ~Shannon L. Alder ‚ÄúThere will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Paris Highlights

    Eiffel Tower Sunset Paris, France October 2017   Farmguy and I visited Paris, France recently, and we absolutely loved it. ¬†It’s a fabulous city for walking, especially since there seems to be a gem around every corner. From its beautiful architecture, fantastic museums, lovely gardens, amazing history, and of course, food and wine, it was difficult to choose […]

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