So, What Vintage Are You?

September is my birthday month, and thankfully, I’m turning another year older.  I am now firmly into my fourth decade–or as Farmguy corrected–fifth decade, because you count 0 to 10 as your first decade…..okay—whatever!  The bottom line….I am forty-something and well into the journey of my life.  And, with this understanding, I started considering the passing years and what “age” means to me. As someone who’s interested in wine and recently completed the WSET Level III Award in Wines through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust this year, I started thinking about aging in wine and aging in life.  I thought about the grapevine’s journey versus our own journeys.  Young grapevines have vigor and brightness, but it’s the older vines that are the most sought after to make the best wines.  This is partially because the vines take on the nuances of their environment:  herbs, mushrooms, and flowers as well as the minerality of the soil; and, as vines age, they produce a delightful complexity and intensity in their fruit.  These extra years are prized and celebrated, because in viticulture, time is allowed for character to express itself. It’s understood that many vintages will pass before a vineyard will start to show its magic.  From the vineyard to the cellar, respect for the aging process continues.  A particular set of environmental conditions is cultivated to help the wines age:  dark cellars, correct humidity, constant and perfect temperature, and no excessive […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Saying Goodbye

Farmgirl with Hamish and Rosebud   “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~Dr. Seuss   Most of the windows of our 200-year-old house afford a scenic view of the pastures and our beloved sheep. Often, during the day, I will pause for a moment to look out on our little flock, either grazing or lying serenely in a field.  It’s a simple pleasure that creates gratitude and lifts my spirit.  Sheep typically flock together, especially since they’re prey animals.  So, each time I cast an eye over the pastures, I always count to make sure I see all ten of them:  Clover, Hamish, Rosebud, Heather, Button, Fern, Olive, Daisy, Ivy, and Violet. Sadly, from now on, I will only count nine of our wonderful woollies.  After a decade of loving care and interaction with these beautiful and amazing creatures, we will have to say goodbye to one of them tomorrow.  Violet’s front legs have become arthritic, and late last week, she injured one of them and can no longer bear weight on it.  The veterinarian visited and said there was nothing to be done to repair the leg. So, we’ve kept Violet comfortable in the hospital pen, administering pain medication for the last few days until we can both be home to humanely say goodbye and have assistance burying her.  We are heartbroken.  To many, Violet is just a sheep; however, to us, she’s much more.  She’s a […]

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Another Trip Around the Sun

  “Hold fast to what is good.” Romans 12:9   Today is September 8th and my birthday.  I’m so grateful for this past year’s journey around the sun. Not because it was perfect and wonderful, but because it was filled with difficult lessons—lessons which really forced me to see, reflect, accept, and grow.  And… It. Was. Hard. This may come as […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Life’s a Bowl of Cherries…..Not Really, but That’s Okay

Life isn’t perfect.  It’s not supposed to be.  It’s supposed to be REAL:  a messy “learning lab” of experiences, mistakes, and practicing our ability to reflect on all of it—hopefully cultivating a positive outlook. An outlook that creates a meaningful, beautiful, and one-of-a-kind life.  A life we can share by loving and uplifting others…..and, ultimately, ourselves. So, here’s the thing: […]

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Inner Peace

  “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” ~Pema Chödrön     “There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” ~Epictetus   “In the process of letting go you will lose many things from […]

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To Every Thing There Is A Season

I hadn’t planned to write a post today as I’m feeling sad and a little mopey about Maud.  While I’m happy she’s not suffering anymore, I miss her. I keep thinking I need to take her for a little walk, give her medicine, or look in on her.  I miss Maud’s presence. I’ve spent a lot of time with Dash over the course of the day, figuring he may be somewhat confused by Maud’s absence.  Plus, I needed to be around him more as well.  It’s been a sunny, beautiful day on Green Hill Farm, and Dash and I have taken full advantage of it by going on two, long walks.  On our jaunt around the pastures, I noticed both the sheep and chickens basking in the warmth, enjoying the spring weather.  A sight that offered solace. This afternoon, I was running a tiny bit late feeding the barn cats and collecting eggs–just feeling a little off, I guess.  Anyway, I walked into the barn, and “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)” by The Byrds was playing on the radio.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with the song, but the lyrics, except for the title which is repeated throughout the song, and the final verse of the song, are adapted almost word-for-word from Chapter 3 of the Book of Ecclesiastes, set to music and recorded in 1962.   “To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a […]

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