Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter and Wine Holiday Market

The past couple of months I have been trying to put together a Winter and Wine Holiday Market. Since this is the first year for my NC Holiday Market I started small, with hopes that next year it will be as big as my GA Holiday Market. One challenge was being new to the area and not yet networked, but I managed to pull together a few (11) artist and 5 vineyards. I think it will be a great market at Round Peak Vineyards and I am already looking for next year’s venue. I was able to start a blog...a little late in the game, but it is ready for next year (and possibly a spring market).

I am doing my first vineyard pruning this weekend. We are meeting up at 8am, rain or shine. It is suppose to be snowing by then. I think I am the only one that isn't worried about it. I guess all the winters on my bike in Denver have hardened me up to snow.

Finals are right around the corner and I am nervous. It is strange being a good student, you worry about grades. Who knew I had it in me? That being said, I will be spending the next 2 weeks studying for all of my comprehensive finals. I am also a little nervous about the 21 credit hours I have registered for next semester. WHEW…that and two jobs (hopefully three).

Yesterday I met Sean from McRitchie Vineyards. It was such a great experience. He is one of the most well-known winemakers in NC. He is definitely on my list of winemakers I want to work with, or should I say volunteer to work with. My list seems to grow every month.

I have been taking care of myself. Even though I can’t run, or even walk (doctor still hasn’t released me) I have been able to do yoga and pilates. I almost snuck out for a run yesterday, but was able to hold myself back. The fear of damaging my legs more and the possible of never being able to run was stronger than my desire to run. I just keep telling myself, “all in good time.” Speaking of yoga…off to the gym.

Friday, November 27, 2009


It is wonderful being home. Brian created a delightful Thanksgiving dinner for me and the family. After dinner we celebrated Lee's 30th birthday, but having friends over for cocktails. It gave me the chance to catch up with friends, while in town.

Tonight I am enjoying a movie with Brian. It is a little down time before getting back to work. It is the final weeks of classes and I will be busy studying for tests, as well as working on presentations and papers.

I have started my second winery job and have a call in for a third. If I am lucky I will have three part-time winery jobs by the end of Dec. The more time I spend working with winemakers the better chance I have of actually getting my hands sticky. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great Grapes

Lauren at Elkin Creek

I found out tonight that we are doing a doing a secondary harvest on the Shelton Cab Sauv on Tuesday. This isn't unusual, but what is unusual is that the Brix are at 21.5. Who knew? It is going to be a crazy morning, but the good news it that I can hit the road for home at noon. This means home by 4-5pm and kickin' with the dogs...Brian will make it home from work around 10ish. It will be a great night sleep!

Blaine and the family (all three kids) won't be able to make it to Thanksgiving dinner, so it is just Mom, Dad, Brian, Lee and I. It will be a nice relaxed afternoon, but what Lee doesn't know is that we are having a surprise birthday party for his 30th that evening (no, he doesn't read my blog).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Elkin Creek Vineyard

So much has been going on in Mount Airy. Let's see if I can catch you up. School is going well. As far as I know I am getting straight As, for the first time in my life. I am very excited about being in the program and have found direction in a long time passion. Next semester I will begin my winemaking programs, as well as vineyard establishment. It feels great to be a good student, but I am a little nervous about taking 18 credit hours next semester. WHAT WAS I THINKING? For some reason I think I can...I think I can. I have decided that I will be getting an associates degree, just to have the feeling of accomplishment. I am looking into Cornell University in Ithica, NY for continuing my education. From my understanding they have a great Classics Program, so it might fit well for both Brian and myself.

I have been hired at two wineries. The first is Round Peak Vineyards, as a event planner and tasting room assistant (part-time). I have hosted two functions to day, a Skull Camp Out! and a Holiday Pairing. My other job is at Brushy Mountain Winery, as a bookkeeping and a winemaker's assistant (part-time). I start the second on Saturday. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with a winemaker! It gets me more step closer to the end result. I have my resume into a third vineyard/winery, so fingers crossed I can add one more day of tasting room assistant to that list, so I can network even more!

Tiger Mountain Vineyard (GA)

Brian and Mom made it to town a month ago and I took them to my favorite vineyard/winery, Elkin Creek Vineyard. If you have the opportunity to order a bottle it should be the 2007 Family Reserve. It will make you want to bake bread! It is just that good. A couple of weeks later my friend, Lauren, and I returned for an interview with the owner and were talked into (no arms were twisted) become a wine club memeber. SO WORTH IT! I think I will be volunteering for the owner, Mark, next summer. I want to learn how to make wine from him. He is third generation winemaker.
Elkin Creek Vineyard (NC)

I have fallen in love with this area, so Brian and I are thinking about buying a holiday home for me to spend the next 2 years. Mount Airy is close to the Blue Ridge Mountains and since the economy has hit the area so hard it is a great time to buy. I figured I could drop my monthly expenses by buying a home...who knew! It is kind of weird being a broke college student, living month to month (10$ an hour doesn't go far). I had my eye on a crappy fixer-upper lake mountain house, but someone swept it up from under me before I had a chance to look at it. Don't fear, I will find another crappy mountain house, just not with a lake. POOP! teehee. I am heading out before work today to look at a few.

Tiger Mountain Vineyard (GA)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home Again

I was able to return to Athens for an enjoyable weekend with friends and family. Friday Brian and I met artist, Ruth Allen, for oysters and bubbly. Then over to the Dallings for great conversation and wine. After sharing a couple of bottles of my recent North Carolina finds, Raffildini and Laurel Gray, Brian and I went home to spend some quality time listening to Queen.

Saturday we had Lee up for a nice quiet dinner at home. We split a beautiful gamay while eating a top notch bolognese and other goodies Brian spent the day preparing. While Georgia fans were weathering the heavy rain, we were cuddled away on the sofa having boy talk.

Sunday, Brian and I took mom to Tiger Mountain Vineyards (photos to come). The weather was perfect, sunny and cool. It was the perfect road trip for a Sunday afternoon. We caught up with Dad later and had our standing (use to be standing) dinner with the parents.

Monday...well, Monday was full of reading and writing. Then dinner at Mark's, which was EXCELLENT! I have to admit that I sure do miss my close friends and family when I start reminiscing about them.

Spent the rest of the evening watching

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day Off

I have the day off. Well, maybe not. I have to spend my day reading an eighty page article on grape berry development and wine grape quality. Hopefully this article will be easier for me to read and retain, since I am back in the swing of reading technical science writing. Wish me luck.

Rain storms are on the way to Mount Airy, so I best get out and buy a slicker and boots. It seems that the theme of autumn in Mount Airy is "RAIN". I can't complain, because it sure is pretty. It just won't be so much fun taking estimations tonight.

I am beginning to think that Brian and I might have to have a small intimate gathering to celebrate our marriage. I have been getting a little heat from both families (call them old fashion) and it is hard not to give in. There are some beautiful wineries in the area that allow gatherings. How perfect would that be? I have a live in chef, so.....-grin

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Grape Science

The next three free days are going to be filled with studying for my upcoming grape science class. Thursday I will be helping out Shelton Vineyards to a crop estimation with my class, after harvest. Who said technical writing and crop estimation is boring? NOT ME!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The past couple of weeks I have been running with the bulls. I knew that the industry was saturated with men, but I had NO idea. They are, for the most part, wonderful men and have been helping me every step of the way. Most of my classmates have been in the department for at least a few semesters, but there are a few of us newbie (like the new vines planted above).

The program is wonderful. I knew it would be great, but I had NO idea. The grape science class is kicking my butt, but I am crossing my fingers that he grades on a curve. I took my first take home quiz and realized how little I know. -grin Since then, I have been all study and no play. I am starting to get the hang of the viticulture thing.

I have spent a couple of days in the vineyards harvesting. It is very romantic getting up at 4am to pick grapes. Other then that I have been out tasting, tasting my nose, and relearning scientific terms.

I have made an executive decision. I don't want to wait tables, even if it is at a popular vineyard. I just don't want to do, I am out looking for employment in anything BUT waiting tables. I figure this is just a part time job, so I can work as a bakery clerk if need be.
Brian is coming up this weekend. We plan to hit the Blue Ridge Parkway and have lunch at Chateau Morrisette on Saturday. Sunday, I think I will take him down to Mount Pilot and then to a friends vineyard, Round Peak.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chateau Morrisette

Friday I spent my day driving up the Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting Chateau Morrisette. It was a very delightful and relaxing trip. I was very impressed with Morrisette's wines, particularly the 2007 Chambourcin. Highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good red.

After a wonderful sensory evaluation I hit the road to Roanoke to visit my BFF and her family. Roanoke is beautiful this time of year, everything is green and in bloom. I always love my visits with Allison is this was no exception. We spent happy hour outside on a patio of a local downtown eatery and then off to see live music.

Today I am back in Mount Airy watching a movie and then hitting the books. I have TONS of reading due for my grape science class. Yes, it is as exciting as it sounds. I am a bit overwhelmed by it, this first week of class, but I will get the hang of it. I am also taking a Ag Econ, Wines of the World, and Intro to Viticulture class.

I started my job search last week and I have a good feeling about a waitress job at Shelton Vineyards. It isn't nessacarily my thing...waiting tables, but I am willing to take anything at a vineyard just to get my foot in the door. I plan on putting in my resume to Chateau Morrisette, as well. It is an hour away, but I figure I can commute for a couple times a week.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bibbi Forsman: it's up in Lidköping

Bibbi has finished her wall.
She never ceases to amaze me with her work.

Bibbi Forsman: it's up in Lidköping

The Mr.

Brian and I went up to Mount Airy this past week, so that he could get a taste of where I will be living for the next 2 years. The day before we left he asked me to marry him, so when we arrived on Monday we hit the court house and tied the knot. Above is a photo of Brian spreading the word to the parents.

I am back until Monday and then I am heading back up to Airy for my first day of class on Tuesday. I have signed up for , so that I can have some fun books on tape for my 5 hour drives. Of course my first book is all about wine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Caged In

Brian almost has the railing on the new deck done. We just have to add stairs and BAM it is done. Then we can focus on the back yard and remodeling the kitchen. Two very small projects. NOT~
I finally found an apartment in Mount Airy and I start moving up there a week from tomorrow. I am taking my first truck loads up with mom and dad for a weekend. When I am up there I can measure out the space and make a list of things i need to move up the next weekend. I learned last night that it is harder to pack for a move of two year then a permanent move. Who would have known?

To avoid packing I am heading to the beach with Janine this weekend. The perfect end to the month of July. It is the calm before the storm.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Double Trouble

I spent my morning at the most wonderful cross country 5K for Giffin. I was joined by a few other boot campers, which made it a real delight. This 5K Saturday has become a habit.

I was able to spend some quality time with my godson, Spike, this past week. We had a hell of a time...swimming, dinning, shopping, laughing and catching up.

My niece gave birth to two twin boys this week. I am now an auntie for the 3rd time!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Canjun Crazy

One thing I realized this week is how hard it is going to be living away from Brian for the next two years. I had a small taste of it durning my recent holiday. For the next month I am going to soak in every moment I have with him.

Progress report:
I finalized my budget for the upcoming school year and I will be working with the school to figure out the amount of my student loan.

I got all the classes I wanted and am now a full time student at SCC! I registered for 20 hours.
Brian bought me a KIA sportage for school. It is such a great feeling to know I will have reliable and safe transportation to drive to and from Athens in.

I am still looking for housing. I have my eye on a very small one bedroom apartment in a old home. It isn't much, but I think I could work my magic in interior design. The size doesn't make for a sewing room, but I figure the living room could be more like 'creative room'...reading chair, sewing table.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Twin Powers

I spent my last week in AL with family. This is the first vacation in 10 years that our family (mom, dad, Gwen and I) have been together at the same time. It was a wonderful trip filled with plenty of swimming, sun, good cooking and laughter.

My niece is having twins in August, so taking Nolen off her hands for a week gave her much needed rest. On the other hand, it gave me the much needed spirit/energy boost I needed to get out there and keep busy.

More photos of come...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mount Airy

Mom and I made a quick trip up to NC wine country this past week. I was able to visit the school I will be attending in August and things seem to be moving along smoothy. I located housing and put myself on a waiting list. We also spent one afternoon visiting local vineyards. It was a wonderful and productive trip.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I spent 3 hours in the salon to achieve this wonderful new hair style. Kuddos to Lolo at Honey.

I am spending my afternoon at the National for a rose tasting and then off to Mark's for a visit with his son and father. I am looking forward to a low key night with good wine and good friends.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Craft Markets

Souldier Belts

Last weekend Jasey and I spent all of our time working the ICE show. It was a slow show, but we still had a wonderful time. We met lots of great crafters and artists, so not all was lost. We will not be doing another show until fall. I am looking into a big one in VA Beach. That could be a nice time. Otherwise, I will wait until the holidays.

I am making plans to head to NC to check out rentals, employment and the school. Something seems to come up every week and I end up postponing it, but if all goes as planned I should be heading up there the last week in June.

I have to quit running for a spell, which is going to drive me crazy. It is all part of the healing process. I guess I jumped back into the exercise ring too quickly and now I am paying for it. I am off tonight, but returning to boot camp tomorrow. I was told to 'take it easy'....meaning no running. DARN IT! I have been doing great, other then that. Lost 1/2 inch in my thighs, 1/4 in my waist and I decreased my time mile by 55 seconds...30 more and I will be back to where I was before the accident. YIPPY!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I have been busy spending most of my time researching the area/town which I will be relocating to for school. I have determined that if I work my butt off I might be able to finish up the degree in 1.5 years. I am going to try my best.

I walk/ran my first 5K since my accident yesterday. My time wasn't the 'best', but I still finished and am very proud of my accomplishment. I have come a long way in the past few months with a lot of hard work and discipline and it is beginning to show. I have 4 days of boot camp this week, so by the time the weekend rolls around I should be really tired.
I go in this Thursday for my second bio-op for the tumor on my leg. Wish me luck!

My free time will be spent sewing for the upcoming ICE show this weekend. It is going to be a lot of work, but wonderful to be around so many wonderful crafters. I have been getting some great feed back on my bags, so hopefully they will be a big hit with the LowDow women of Atlanta.

I have been asked to be a blogger for for Athens, which launches in June. What a delightful surprise. I have excepted and will be finding out the details in the near future.

My knee 1.5 months after the accident

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Brian and I have been busy on a number of projects. The yard, the back patio, cleaning...all kinds of good stuff.

I have been super busy for the past couple of weeks making arrangements for my relocation in August. I have finally decided on Surry Community College for viticulture and enology. I will be in school for another 2 years and living away from my beloved, which makes me very anxious, but I am very excited about my studies. So far I have qualified for $3100 in Pell Grants, so now I am getting started on scholarships and finacial aid loans. Today I began the housing search. It is very hard finding housing from 5 hours away.

Monday, May 11, 2009

21 Weeks

My niece is 21 weeks preggie with twins! We were all excited to find out she is having boys and can't wait to find out the final decision on names. I have already started shopping for the pipsqueaks. COME ON ALREADY...don't keep me waiting. -grin

I have been going through a lot of changes and goal setting this week. I made decided that I will not be partisipating in the NYC holiday markets. It is just too much for me to take on over the summer in my condition. I am going to focus on what to do next for long term. It is so hard going through such a huge accident, b/c it always sets your head in a spin and you want to do EVERYTHING you had on your want list to do. I am trying to settle down and focus.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Family Visits

I spent my weekend visiting my friends in Roanoke, VA. It was an much overdue visit and all my time was well spent with the Allison and her family. As you can tell we didn't let the rain get us down. I think I will go up for a visit again over the summer.

While on holiday we stop at in a vineyard valley on our way home. I came up with my Aug-Oct job....PICKING GRAPES! I am going to contact my favorite vineyards in Napa this week and then continue the search through next week. So here is the way it will play out. Sew from today until the end of July. Aug-Oct picking grapes...home for Nov. Thanks Giving to Xmas in NYC for the Union Square Holiday Market. then to Boulder for Rolfing School. is kind of scary to see in writing.