Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tsali Notch Vineyards

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Tsali Notch Vineyards

On our way home from a local favorite flea market of ours, the DH and I drove out to the Tsali Notch Vineyards located 1.5 miles off HWY 68 at Madisonville. I wasn't prepared for what my eyes were about to see!

Thirty (30) acres, twenty-one (21) miles, 5450 vines of five (5) varieties of muscadine grapes. Row after row after row. The sky was clear blue, the temperature was in the high 60's, and the wind was blowing right into my face as I snapped pictures. The fragrance of all that ripening fruit still lingers in my mind and I remain at a loss to truly describe the smell.

Was I really in Tennessee? I thought things like THIS http://tsalinotch.com only existed in Italy and France. (NOTE TO SELF: YOU really do have to get out more!!) Their website offers more pictures and information about the vineyard. In addition to supplying to commerical wineries, they offer "pick your own" to indiviuals.

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Campagne Maison's Coconut Bonbons

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Campagne Maison's Coconut Bonbons

2 boxes confectioners sugar

1 can condensed milk

1 14 oz bag coconut

3 cups chopped pecans

3 sticks melted butter

Combine all ingredients and chill thoroughly. Form into walnut sized balls, place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in freezer until firm but NOT frozen. Remove and continue with chocolate coating process.

Chocolate Coating

1 stick candy paraffin

1 16 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips

Melt paraffin in double boiler, add chips and mix until well blended. Insert a wooden skewer into a candy piece and dip into the chocolate mixture with a rotating motion of the wrist. Gently tap off excess chocolate and place onto waxed paper, continuing until all the bonbons are coated. This must be done quickly. Once the hot chocolate coating hits the cold bonbon it will harden.

Store in tightly covered containers in cool temperature or in the refrigerator. They freeze indefinitely.

Personal note: I am not a huge fan of semi-sweet chocolate, so I mix milk chocolate chips with semi sweet. Doing this makes a sweeter bonbon, so you will need to take that into consideration if you make these. I've never had any problems with these melting once they were coated probably because they never lasted long enough. But to be on the safe side, I would recommend keeping them refrigerated.

I have never made these without thinking about Lucy and Ethel and their job stint at the candy factory. Although I have never stuffed any down my bra or hid them under my chef's hat, I have had several of them in my mouth.....LOL

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Bon Appetit and Au revoir,

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's A Wrap

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

It brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart to see how simple, inexpensive things can still make for fun times with the kids in this age of electronic games. Our children have no shortage of them and can usually be found caught in their hypnotic grip. Thank goodness they all have active imaginations, great social skills, and plenty of energy to still be normal kids.

A few cans of Silly String, a Slip-n-slide, some tattoos and enough water to keep squirt guns filled up for imminent battle, kept our kids occupied for hours. Jayci covered herself in dirt. I really do not know how her mother got it all out of her hair. Madison pushed a doll stroller up and down the hills. Hayden locked Mya and Haiven together with a pair of play handcuffs and they all chased each other across the bridge playing tag and hide and seek.

They even had fun having their pictures taken while holding the Corn Toss trophy!

Kaleb, Conner, Parker, and Hayden

Haiven, Mya, Evan, Conner, Parker, and Hayden

Maggie playing hide n' seek

Jayci--without dirt

Madison with her pool toys

Twins Parker and Conner Kung-Fu play fighting

Maggie...learning at a young age that it's tough being a woman in a man's world!

This is my niece, Sylvia. She is Rick's daughter.

This is my sister Patricia. She is married to Larry.

This is my brother-in-law, Wayne. He is married to J. Karen.

Our Family Reunion would not be complete without mentioning our father, Voy Rivers, who passed away on March 1, 1981. His tombstone reads "Taken too soon" and he was.

Last year we started a new family tradition to have our reunions here at the farm, in memory of our deceased brother-in-law, Carlos. His love for this farm was contagious. Without fail, at least one of us would accompany him out here, when we came to TN for a visit. It didn't take long for us to fall in love with the slower paced lifestyle and serene atmosphere of country living.

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Corn Toss Championship Part II

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

It was a long hot day, the competition was fierce, but in the end we had a happy winner! Chris won 1st place and is shown here with the official, much coveted, Corn Toss trophy.

I am sure that we will all agree that there are lots of things that can be done with a cob of corn. But, whose brilliant mind was it to shellac it, drill a hole in it, screw it on a fancy cherry wood base, attach a gold name plaque for engraving, and declare it a TROPHY and make lots of $$$$ with it ?? I think that would fall under the "foolish things confounding the wise" category...LOL

Brandon was second place winner

Moving right along....

In an attempt to make sure that everyone gets their "minute of fame" I am trying to include pictures of all who attended our second annual 4th of July Family Reunion. As before, I will put a name to a face and what nut they are on our family tree.

This is my husband Sammy. Our children are Sam II and Jeremey. Kaleb and Haiven are our grandchildren.

This is my sister Jenny and moi. I don't recall what we were talking about but I sure was in deep concentration!

This is my son, Jeremey, Kaleb's father, Ian, and my other son, Sam II, who is Haiven's father. My children and grandchildren live in Arkansas.

This is my niece, Michelle with Jace. She is Rick's daughter and Jace's mother. She is also Mya's mother. (We are so excited for them. They are closing on their first home tomorrow! I can't wait to see pictures. They live in Michigan.)

This is my niece Leslie. She is the daughter of Jenny, mother to Chad and Michelle B, mother-in-law to Jenni, grandmother to Jayci, Boston, Madison, and Grayson. They live in Utah.

This is Michelle B. She is the granddaughter to Jenny, daughter of Leslie, sister to Chad, mother to Boston, Madison, and Grayson.

This is Chad and Jayci. He is Jenny's grandson, Leslie's son, Jenni's husband and Jayci's dad.

This is Jenni. She is married to Chad and is the mother of Jayci. The family tree continues on, as she is expecting their second child November 15th. You can read Jenni's blog at: http://baxtersrus.blogspot.com/

to be continued......

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Corn Toss Championship-Part 1

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Today's post contains lots of pictures so I will keep the narrative to a minimum. I will just try to give each person an identity and their relationship to me.

Our family was introduced to Corn-Hole or Corn-Toss at last year's reunion by my nephew, Chris. We all like a friendly game of competition and decided to ante the pot this year by giving away a perpetual trophy. Those of you that follow my blog have already read about that from a previous post.

We drew for partners and went into a double elimination match, which made for a very long day. And, needless to say, it was hotter than a firecracker this 4th of July!!

This is Ian. He is married to my neice Michelle and is Jace's father and Mya's stepfather. He kept us up to snuff with our double elimination board and Corntoss rules.

This is Connie, in perfect throwing stance for Corn Toss. She is married to my nephew Chris. They are the parents of twins, Conner and Parker, and little Miss Maggie. (Connie currently holds the title as Ms TN in her weight class in bodybuilding).

This is the back of my brother, Voy's T-shirt! He came ready to play!

This is two of my brothers, Rick and Voy.

This is my sister, J. Karen and my neice, Gina. Gina is the wife of Greg and the mother to Evan and Hayden.

This is my nephew Chris and his wife Connie. Chris is also Gina's brother.

This is Brandon, my sister Melanie's step-son. He is Mike's son.

This is my brother-in-law, Larry and Brandon. Larry is married to my sister, Patricia.

This is Greg and David. Greg is married to my neice Gina and David is boyfriend to my neice, Sylvia.

This is my oldest son, Sam II and my sister-in-law, Vicky. Sam is Haiven's dad and Vicky is married to Voy.

This is my great-nephew, Chad and my brother-in-law Mike. Chad is Jayci's dad and Mike is married to Melanie and is Brandon's father.

This is my sister Melanie and my sister-in-law Vicky. Melanie is married to Mike and is the mother of Chris and Gina. She is also grandmother to twins Conner and Parker, Maggie, Evan and Hayden.

The winner will be announced on tomorrows post. I'm bad!!

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Au revoir,

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Birthday Girl

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

This is my mom, Sylvia Kathryn. My dad's nickname for her was "Kat". Born during the depression she knows true hardship. She has instilled alot of her best traits into her children but will not take credit for any of them.

On January 8, 1938, at the ripe old age of 15 1/2 years, she married my dad. They had been married 43 yrs when he passed away in 1981. (As my hand grabs a pen and I start subtracting, it startles me--to say the least--that my husband and I have been married 42. Somehow, it seems like my mom and dad were married much longer than my husband and me). A widow now for 28 years, as she chose to never remarry.

Anyway, back to statistics! She birthed nine children, all of whom are still living. She has 15 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren.

I know...she doesn't look a day over 60!

With all her brood, it takes a big cake!

Now...the reason I told you a little bit about her was so I could REALLY TELL you this: She's a real party animal!! Here she is caught "sleeping off" all that birthday cake and diet coke that she over indulged in at her party! Don't you just admire a woman that knows how to celebrate her birthday?

Mama, as the saying goes..."if you can't run with the big dogs, don't get off the porch"

to be continued tomorrow...

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Au revoir

Just For Kids

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

Our mother's birthday is on July 2nd so our family celebrates her birthday and our annual Family Reunion at the same time. That just makes it easier for everyone to attend both functions. This year, seven of her nine children were here to help her celebrate her 87th birthday.

Folks congregated to the farm from Utah, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. There was a 5 generation family portrait made this year which made the event even more special.

We try to gear a lot of fun events around the kids to keep them excited about attending the reunion. This year was a first for some of the cousins whose ages are in close proximity. If a picture is worth a thousand words then listen to this ....

Jace...our newest addition


you have your great-grandmother's eyes !!

...BUT MOM, this TN dirt "IS A GOOD THING"...Jayci

Madison...is California Dreamin'

and Boston keeps asking...

"is the surf up yet"?

Bullseye.....a friendly game of darts

Parker, Evan, Hayden, Maggie, and Conner posing on the bridge across the creek bed.........."there ain't no such thing as Trolls" !!

Mya and Haiven.....Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2018...????

Madison and Maggie....sharing secrets

Kaleb..Silly String Sixshooter


AND....Evan, Maggie, and Parker ending an eventful day with a little marshmallow roast...or is that toast??

you can tell he's played T-Ball.....

To be continued.....

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company.

Au revoir,