Sunday, June 2, 2013

how we do a weekend retreat

 For all the obvious reason, we rarely get to pack an overnight bag and venture too far away from the farm. So the need for a little relaxation and outside adventure usually slips us by..but this weekend we were able to soak in a little mountain retreat that completely and altogether refreshed our spirits. This journey took us to places we had never been but also conveyed some familiar inspiration and left us entirely awe struck by the simple beauty of nature and a full night's sleep. 

Blue Ridge Mountains
the cowboy wanted to stop for a couple bales of hay..beautiful valley hay and plenty of it!

Our overnight accommodations in Steeles Tavern - a cozy old Mill now turned B&B. Gracious innkeeper service with historic surroundings and a sweet, comfortable atmosphere.  Osceola Mill 

 I am completely fascinated with historical..well everything, so nestling down in the Old Mill Store for the night was my highlight. The Store has been renovated to accommodate guests but I felt the history of this old working mill, in my bones...or maybe that was the sunken jacuzzi tub ;-)

 Oh and this is wine country..need I say more :-) Rockbridge Vineyard was by far our favorite winery of the day - breathtaking views, award winning brews and some really fun, chatty and all around fantastic folks!

Rockbridge Vineyard

another first for us...morning coffee by candlelight
 Because I am an overly committed farm chic, I brought some of my ewe girls with me and carded a bag of wool on the front porch of the Old Mill Store....I'm never too far away from what I love.

 We very much enjoyed being tourists for the afternoon while visiting the Frontier Culture Museum
 I think the little gal working in the England exhibit was glad when I left..I couldn't help myself, I had to touch everything..and since I am a visual learner...well I needed to see how it worked. Somewhere the tourist in me left and the farm chic stepped back in. The primitive little exhibit gal was incredibly kind and patient especially considering I preferred to skip her historical speech and just get straight to the important stuff. She had milk curdling and it was almost ready to be pressed..she did not know the butterfat, the temp the curds were being kept at, the type of rennet used, the type of cheese, what the whey tasted like or the amount of pressure the cheese was being pressed at. Yes, I'm quite sure she was glad when I left...
early 1700's cheese press

curd ready to be scooped and pressed

as soon as I saw the fiber pile, I wanted to go back and get my was Cotswold wool and the WOW kinda gorgeous
I found SHEEP - she's a Tunis ewe and I am fairly certain a long lost relative of my Scarlet

I could not get enough of the chickens in the Germany exhibit..we became fast friends. I hope they write!

it's a fact..if the cowboy is with me..we will see snakes and serious ones..the timber rattlesnake
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.  ~John Muir

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