Category: Fashion

My Favorite Small Town Getaway

Last summer after dropping off our youngest son at college in New Jersey, we visited wineries on the return trip to break up the endless miles. Once home we discovered quite a few wineries in our area. Now I had a goal I could really get behind–visiting local wineries!

I found Valley View, Texas because of a billboard advertising its local winery. What I never expected was to also find a Texas getaway gem in this town of seven hundred fifty-seven people.

The minute I drove into Valley View, my tension drifted away with the warm Texas breeze, and that was even before I had a glass of Firelight Vineyard’s sangria! The town reminded me of my childhood spent at my grandparent’s farm in northeastern Iowa. There was open space, trees, horses and cows. Often all in one front yard. There life doesn’t speed by. Neighbors know each other. Everyone’s friendly and laid back. Whenever I’m there I run into someone who wants to talk. Whether it’s someone at the winery, a local business owner, or an Army/Air Force Veteran. Whenever I hear Josh Gallagher’s “Pick Any Small Town” Valley View’s the one I’d pick.

The last year has been stressful, so for our anniversary, my hubby and I headed to Valley View for a getaway weekend. We wanted to spend time away from email, texts, social media, and other city commitments. For us, when we’re away from the city and in the country, life’s troubles fade away and we focus on what’s important—each other and family. The drive to our B&B, Towering Oaks Haven, took us on a gravel road, once again reminding me of my childhood. The fast-paced-need-to-get-ahead-world disappeared. We spent the weekend wandering around antique stores, shopping at my favorite boutique Rustic Ranch, and becoming reacquainted with each other. We weren’t on our phones constantly. We weren’t worried about spotty internet service. We connected with those around us, rather than those on social media sites. We listened to stories, told some of our own, and were simply in the moment. We ate fantastic gourmet pizza from Lil’ Brick Oven delivered to us at the winery. After that, we listened to the David Alexander Trio while sitting on the Firelight Vineyard’s patio chatting with someone my husband knew from years back and a wonderful couple from Oklahoma.

Life was simpler, personal and connected. And I loved every minute of it.

I remembered why I write stories set in small towns, because of the feelings I rediscovered in Valley View. Because of the way I felt at my grandparents’ farm and in their small town.

I can back rejuvenated and my head spinning with story ideas! A Texas winery owner heroine and a rancher in a small Texas town trying to revitalize the town square. Hmmm. It’s a start.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me about your favorite getaway spot that rejuvenates your body and soul. Enter a comment for a chance to win the wine charms and a wineglass from FIrelight Vineyards.

 

 

Happy National Handbag Day!

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Hi everyone, Winnie Griggs here. First an apology – I’m just off of a series of all nighters as I worked to meet my deadline on my latest work in progress (which I made by a hair) and then a weekend of fun at a family reunion. So this post will be a bit shorter than normal.

That being said, when I looked up Oct 10 on my National Day Of calendar, I noticed that in addition to it being Columbus Day this year, it is also National Handbag Day. So I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of handbag trivia with you and then share some pictures of some of my own handbags.

Handbag Fun Facts:

  • In the 15th century it was traditional for a bridegroom to give his bride a purse with embroidered pictures of love stories.
  • Shoulder bags first became popular during WW II
  • The 1923 Hermes Bolide Bag was the first handbag to feature a zipper
  • According to a 2008 study done in England, the average 30 year old woman owns 21 handbags and purchases a new one every 3 months
  • The average weight of a woman’s handbag is over 5 pounds.
  • A Japanese designer created a handbag in 2008 that is wort more than $2 million. It was crafted of platinum and decorated with over 2,000 diamonds.
  • This was topped in 2010 by the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse, valued at almost $4 million

And as promised, here are a few of my favorite purses from my own collection. I’m a big fan of vintage so most of those pictured here were acquired from thrift shops or estate sales

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I also happen to be a Winnie The Pooh fan – here are two that reflect that, one was a gift from a good friend who knows me well, and the other was a spur of the moment purchase

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So what about you? Do you have a large collection of handbags or just a few? Do you tend toward the large or the small, the designer bags or more utilitarian?

Updated: October 9, 2016 — 11:44 pm
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