Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Dear friends, I'm so grateful to have met all of you through blogging.  I hope you all have a wonderful day full of all the good things you all so richly deserve with your family and friends.  I'm spending the holiday with my family in North Carolina, and I'm looking forward to reading how you all spent this family day.  Take care, everyone. 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Monday, November 22, 2010

There's a Gorilla in my Kitchen

Okay, well, not an actual four-legged, hairy gorilla.  It's Gorilla Bread.  The holidays always makes me want to bake, which is something for me in my little (read very tiny with no counter space) kitchen.  I couldn't resist trying Paula Dean's very easy recipe.  It didn't take long to make and just look!!  It looks scrumptious, doesn't it?  It's too late to try it tonight, but I'm planning to take it to work, so I'll let you know how I score!  In the meantime, enjoy my virtual gift to your sweet tooth.

My sister lent me this beautiful old bundt pan, which was our mom's.  If you look closely, you can see she wrote our last name on it with nail polish.  I grew up in an era where everything you owned was marked with your name, lest it accidently end up in someone else's house.  LOL!  I do love the fact that it was my mom's and I was able to use it to make something yummy.

 The finished product looks pretty good.  I'll let the office gourmands tell me how it turned out.  Thank you, Sue for letting me borrow the pan!

Mosaic Monday

Linking over with Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.  The photo with the bee was taken in Charlottesville the first weekend of this month.  I was surprised to see him and the still blooming lavender.  I couldn't help but think that he was taking advantage of the last sweetness of autumn.  I love nature and everything it offers including the earth and its seasons and never ending beauty.  Every day is a blessing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just Fall

I moved to Virginia about three years ago.  Hard to believe it's only been three years.  Since living here, I've discovered that I LOVE northern Virginia.  It's a beautiful place to live.  There are four distinct seasons, and I look forward to the change in all of them . . . well, except for summer.  But the summers here are not as hot and humid as they are in coastal North Carolina where you swelter just sitting in the shade, like it or not.  Don't get me wrong, there are hot and humid days here too; but they just don't seem as hot or humid as the dog days of NC.  

The spring and fall in northern Virginia are beautiful.  The colors are intoxicating, and it's hard to keep your eyes on the road because there is so much to see and appreciate.  I've been taking lots of fall pictures, mainly because I never get tired of looking at the reds, golds, and yellows.  When I drove home from work yesterday, the sky was a gorgeous shade of violet as the sun started to set.  It was a painter's dream.  Then as I neared my house, I noticed brake lights in the road in front of me.  Looking up, I saw a beautiful buck, complete with a large set of antlers.  I pulled off to the side of the road.  He backed away and looked right at me.   He was gorgeous.  Then he ran off into the fields and all I saw was his white tail and the antlers bobbing in the distance.  When I turned to check on getting back in the road, there was a guy right next to me who had stopped his car to watch the deer too.  We just smiled at each other and drove on our ways.

None of this really has anything to do with the title of this post, but I just had to share one of the reasons why I love northern Virginia.  And these photos show you another.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Charlottesville Revisited

I had to share the rest of my Charlottesville pictures with you.  I just love it there.  Whenever I'm there, I think of Thomas Jefferson and beautiful Monticello.  There are loads of things to do there besides the wineries (but they're GREAT).  If you ever get a chance to visit, you won't be disappointed.  And if you get a chance to visit in the fall, it's even more beautiful than ever.

These photos were all taken at White Hall.  This was our first stop on Saturday.  Their award-winning wine was on display in their tasting room.  

My son and my son-in-law's beautiful sister

 Green Heron at Pollak Winery

 The view from the tasting room at Pollak Winery.  Would you love to wake up to this every single day?  I'd love it. 

 The gang bellied up to the bar!

Last but not least, we ended up our weekend at beautiful Veritas in Afton, Virginia.  "Veritas" means truth, and their wines are truly the best of their vineyard.  They have won many awards.  We always end up here because of the gorgeous scenery.  They have a huge deck with picnic tables, and we pack in our lunch and enjoy it with one of their outstanding wines.    


 Just some of the amazing views.  I painted this barn as a gift to my daughter for her 10th anniversary.  

My impression

 I'd love to imagine this is the road to my house.  

My family 

Kite Flying

I saw a Kite yesterday on my way home on the George Washington Parkway.  No, silly, not that kind of kite.  This kind:

(Photo credit:  
Fotograf: Ferdinand Grassmann * Erstversion: de.wikipedia 13:52, 20. Jun 2005 . . Fgrassmann (281802)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Celebrating Wine

I created this to celebrate Monday Mosaic with Mary at Little Red House.

Wine that maketh glad the heart of man.
The Book of Psalms, 104:15

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Loving Charlottesville

Every year my daughter and her husband go to Charlottesville to celebrate their anniversary.  Our extended family all meets there and takes a weekend-long vacation to celebrate their anniversary.  This year we visited eight wineries, some of which I'd never been to before.  I enjoyed myself so much.  Besides being with family and tasting some of the best wine in the region, the countryside is absolutely beautiful this time of year.  I especially love fall and the crisp weather it brings.  There's something so heavenly about this season and all of the colors that surround it.  These are some of the photos I took while I was in beautiful Charlottesville.

Some of the people attending arrive on Thursday night, and I thought about going on Thursday.  But then it started raining early in the morning and rained into the evening, so I decided to wait and leave on Friday morning so I could enjoy the ride and the beautiful scenery.  We managed to visit eight wineries in two days.  Can you believe it?  When I got there on Friday afternoon, I met my son and his wife for lunch and then we met everyone else and headed to Blenheim Winery.  Blenheim is owned by Dave Matthews, and his parents still live there.  As you can see the scenery there is wonderful and they have a nice tasting room.

After Blenheim, we went to Jefferson Wineries where we had a private tasting for our huge group of people.  The wines were wonderful.

We finished up our first day at Carter's Mountain where they sell apples, baked goods, cider, and. . .yep, you guessed it -- WINE!!  I bought the best peach wine there.  It tastes like they squeezed a fresh peach right into the bottle and the view from the mountain is gorgeous.  The drive up is a white knuckler, and I can't look out the window.  There are NO GUARDRAILS!!

There was still plenty of color in the trees.  After Carter's Mountain we headed to dinner at Enoteca where we drank (yet again) more wine.  It was a great day and we headed to bed with our bellies full and dreaming of heavenly views and more wine the next day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday

. . . to my hero, Carl Sagan.  His ability to explain the cosmos and humankind's role is unrivaled.  His vision of the universe is best explained by his own voice: 

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."

Exactly Right

the strays keep arriving: now we have 5
cats and they are smart, spontaneous, self-
absorbed, naturally poised and awesomely

one of the finest things about cats is
that when you're feeling down, very down,
if you just look at the cat at rest,
at the way they sit or lie and wait,
it's a grand lesson in preserving
if you watch 5 cats at once that's 5
times better.

no matter the extra demands they make
no matter the heavy sacks of food
no matter the dozens of cans of tuna
from the supermarket: it's all just fuel for their
amazing dignity and their
affirmation of a vital
we humans can
only envy and
admire from
"exactly right" by Charles Bukowski, from The Night Torn with Mad Footsteps: New Poems.