Taking Shape

Work on the vineyard property is still well underway.  This is a picture of the most Southeast corner of the land we have chosen to develop first.  This spot was recently covered in stumps and brush and will one day flourish in Pinot Noir vines.  The cleared area, while deceiving as far as size is concerned covers about 10 acres (approx. 4 hectares).

A closer shot reveals how much work is still required before this area would be considered completed by vineyard standards.

A large portion of time in the beginning stages of vineyard development is spent “stick-picking”.  Every single one of these sticks and stumps must be removed before the land can be prepped and planted.  A large portion of my Thanksgiving holiday will be spent bending over and gathering this wood.  The wine business is very glamorous you know.  The top portion of this photo is land still needing to be cleared.

I’m really not kidding about the stick-picking.  Any volunteers?

Beginning Monday we will be laying a 1/2 mile of rock on the road leading up to the vineyard area and ending at this point.  This will improve the traction of the road during the winter time.  Currently, slipping and sliding in the mud has been an issue.

We have also decided to move the homesite from another location on the property to this one.  This would be the new view from the kitchen window.  What do you think?


It’s another installment of Halloween dishes.  Hey, Halloweenies like me need a place to hold and display all of my Halloween goodies.  This is a relish tray with three different compartments.

This bowl is quite large standing nine inches tall and the opening at the top measuring about 12 inches in diameter.

Another large, festive dish.

Another great, large bowl for holding popcorn and watching a Halloween flick.

This is one of my favorite platters used to serve treats or appetizers.  It’s very large and works well throughout the Thanksgiving season as well.

Post a Comment


  1. HoneyB 1

    Love the photos and watching your dream come alive! Also love the halloween dishes!

  2. Laura 2

    The view from the kitchen window will be spectacular…now just plant that big old bowl of candy NEXT to the window and there will be some good times ahead…

  3. Oh…your property and future vinyard is beautiful beyond words. I can see through the stick picking and digging and mess that you have a vision that WILL be realized and be a tribute to your dreams and hopefully to your sons and their children….but really, I am excited about tasting your Pinot Noirs and checking out your new digs myself !

    You have a lot of hard work ahead of you ( news to you I know ) but so much reward for it. You are so blessed Cathy !Your dreams combined with the hard work and planning are coming true !And, I think the new home site is wonderful.If I were a bit younger I would take you up on the stick picking, having done a fair bit of it myself. Just remember, build a BIG bonfire, invite all your friends to help gather wood ( sticks ) for the fire, then you supply the marshmallows, hot chocolate and wine while they gather up and celebrate your good fortune and future.

  4. Philly 4

    One would think in this day and age they would have invented a stick picker upper.
    Great View

  5. Deeba 5

    I don’t know where to begin commenting from but here goes…the view from the kitchen window is gonna be breathtaking…*GASP*. Stick picking=back breaking for sure; that’s a VAST landscape Cathy…O BOY!! The Holloween stuff is getting better & better; can just imagine how many beauties you’ve collected over time. each piece is precious!

  6. I’m so excited that your dream of having a vineyard is coming true. It’s loads of work but I’m sure will be a labor of love. I spend many days walking through the vineyards here in Germany. Best wishes!
    PS…I love reading your blog!:)

  7. Shirley 7

    The new view is gorgeous! Stick picking will whip your body into fighting shape! I once heard George Foreman say one way he got back into shape after a hiatus from the ring was by dropping a 5-gallon bucket of golf balls and picking them up and putting them back in the bucket one at a time. Stick picking involved heavier, less uniform material. Yes, you might want to get some friends involved for stick picking.

    Love all the Halloween plates! I like the ones that carry over into Thanksgiving as well. I have a glass pumpkin bowl with lid that does that and it’s neat to extend the season a bit.

  8. WOW! It’s looking fabulous already! You have my sympathies about the destruction and amount of work this entails–we’re in the clearing stages now on our property as well, and even though the entire property is only 3.5 acres it’s a HUGE amount of work and mess.
    Love the idea for the new home site. The view is totally spectacular.

  9. I would help you pick sticks…. It’s just a little too far of a drive. But if I were closer I’d be on top of it! I really love construction! How nothing is made into something. Sometimes it seems that it will NEVER end and one morning you’ll get up and it will finally be over. It just may be years.
    Love the new home site

  10. Laura 10

    OH MY how BEAUTIFUL! If I come pick up sticks will you adopt me and let me live with you forever and ever? I am a good stick picker upper and fire stirrer as we have spent the last month clearing a half acre of woods and buring trees and stumps and picking up sticks and and and WOW I love the site for the homestead SO BEAUTIFUL!

  11. Kate 11

    I love seeing your dream become reality. And, despite the stick picking, you sound so happy!!

  12. marcy 12

    LOVIN’ IT! You can see the potential, and the new view from your kitchen window is gorgeous! I love all of you halloween pics too, and I’ll take a snickers please:)

  13. What a beautiful property. And HUGE! That’s a lot of land! Which means a lot of work, I know, but let’s get back to the “what a beautiful property” line!!!

  14. what a spectacular view, you know you are the envy of all dont you?

  15. Barbie with a T 15

    Hey, I have experience picking up! Just finished picking up 1000 pounds of nails in my yard following the hurricane! Back breaking to say the least! I love the pictures of the land. It is a very peaceful looking location, and you will be so proud when you are standing in your kitchen window looking over the beautiful surroundings. Also, nice Halloween pieces. That popcorn and movie scenario sounds so comfy, especially with a fireplace going.

  16. The new view from your kitchen window will be mind boggling. Peaceful, beautiful, healing inside whenever you look outside…

    What a gorgeous piece of land you have, Cathy !

    May the soil be fertile, and your years there with your family be healthy and happy !

    Cyber-Hugs and have a great weekend,
    Loving Annie

  17. Becky 17

    What I wouldn’t give for a view like that in the morning! You have definitely picked the right spot. But it’s gonna be cold up there in the winter!! If I lived closer, I’d gladly come help you pick up sticks! And I’d bring Boo to help.
    Love the dishes! Your so Halloweeney!! When it’s all over how will we survive another year?

  18. Kiki 18

    It’s gorgeous. I volunteer for stick picking up. Sounds like a great work out in a beautiful setting!

  19. I’ll come out and help you pick up sticks!

    Everything looks great! You must be getting so excited. I think the new view is just astounding. This is going to be so great!

  20. Wow that’s a lot of sticks!! It’s such beautiful countryside and all the hard work will be worth it! What a view to have from your kitchen window!

    And I LOVE that pumkin platter!!

  21. tipper 21

    Love the Halloween dishes. And the view from your future window-is outstanding!

  22. Oh I love the dishes! Gorgeous stuff!

    OK, on the stick picking.. let me save you some time… Everyone over here has this big metal ‘matt’ thing that goes behind a tractor to ‘drag’ the fields and pick up all the junk – we do this in the spring to clean up the pastures after the winter… It’s a big huge metal thing with spikes on the bottom so its’ like a giant broomthingy… Aren’t I helpful?

  23. WOW the property is amazing and the view from the kitchen window will be beautiful!!!

  24. Trisha 24

    Wow – things are really happening at the vineyard! I understand about stick picking – very similar to rock picking at farms!

    You are REALLY into Halloween, aren’t you? I think you have more Halloween bowls than I have regular bowls in my entire house! The pictures are fun to see though!

  25. Teri 25

    After last nights dish 1-2-3 chicken, my sweet Emily (actually referred to as Miss Smarty Pants) says she’ll pick up sticks for you anytime!!! In fact after some of the recipes I’ve made off of your blog she said, “Can I make her my Aunt?” She didn’t dare say Mom… (yeah, she knows better, she’s 13!)

    That does look like a big job. Maybe if you promise to cook some of your delicious food I bet lots of your blogging followers would come in a snap! Wait… maybe that’s been your plan all along???

  26. Alisa 26

    Not only will I volunteer my husband, children, and Labrador Retriever to stick pick, I will come and keep you company while they all work. I’m a giver.
    Jealous, that’s about all I can say about what I think! Enjoy picking up your sticks and dreaming about this time next year!

  27. Harmony 27

    It’s a great view from the window..I love it! I enjoy watching your dreams unfold, thanks for sharing updates with us.

  28. Ginny 28

    I think it is just beautiful! I do envy your view and enjoy watching your dream come true!

  29. krysta 29

    if i could look at that view all the time, i’d be more than happy to stick pick.

  30. ELRA 30

    It’s so beautiful cathy, I can only imagine for now how even more beautiful when the vineyard is done. I envy you…..

  31. blair 31

    I so want to trick or treat at your house!

    As for the property, those views are just like the ones my sister in law has at her vineyards, but that is in Austria! If I lived any closer I would so go and help pick up sticks, I think that sounds like a blast!

  32. Oh, sweet mercy, that is a beautiful view! I feel more relaxed every time I look at it!

  33. Amber 33

    Broomthingy…I love girl descriptions. I understand them. Silly boys.

  34. shonda 34

    I watched a program on PBS about the growing wine industry in Oregon. I remembered they said the wild success of Pino grown in Oregon has many wine experts wondering why it took them so long to figure the superiority of Pino grapes grown in your neck of the woods. It made me think of you.
    Very beautiful home indeed!

  35. Steph 35

    It’s beautiful! All of it!

  36. Amber 36

    At least with picking up sticks there is an end to the job. Unlike weeds and rocks. My weeds just thrive like God is calling to them. And for every 100 rocks I cleared out of my yard, the middle of the earth spit up 110 more.
    Is that a lake in the background of the first photo?
    And no, I have had my share of stick picking etc. growing up. I would marry a farmer, but I am not going to farm anymore. Bring him a cold beer, sure.
    Hey where is the cute guy with the big machine?
    I do love slipping and sliding on country roads. It is a pain in the butt, but when you are young it is fun.
    I love the view but I hope you keep the barn. I love going to design show house’s and once, one of the designers made the horse barn into party central. It was so cool. Rustic, great couches, big flat screen, stereo and surround sound, old wood floors. It was my favorite room of the place and trust me the house was to die for. You could rent the vineyard out for weddings and have the reception here.
    I love the pumpkin platter a lot.

  37. Wow! The view is gorgeous. and I hear you on the sticks. We just have a measly regular size backyard but we’ve been picking rocks for what seems like forever. The people who lived here before had some kind of rock fetish.

  38. Marlene 38

    I really want to go trick or treating at your house!

    I love the view…it is stunning.

    I am making the sweet potato muffins this weekend. I can not wait.

    Have a great weekend.


  39. This is so incredible. Just a dream! Your new view is spectacular.

  40. Misty 40

    BOOTIFUL!!! I love it Cathy!!!

  41. Shelly 41

    The view is gorgeous.

  42. Louise 42

    You are one brave woman! No wonder you are so into Halloween … it obviously takes much more than Martha’s scaries to frighten you away.

  43. Egghead 43

    That view is amazing. I probably wouldn’t do my dishes if I had that to gaze at. Things are beginning to come together!

  44. looks lovely!
    That stick picking job sounds perfect for my kids. I’ll send them on over.

    can you pick them up at the airport? I don’t like them to hitchhike.

  45. WOW nice pics – so excited for you!! I have been a huge fan of your blog… love it

    thanks for sharing

  46. Lovely, lovely view. Beauty from every window — that’s all I ask. : )

    Cute plates!

  47. I want the view. And I love all the Halloween dishes.

  48. Chris 48

    If I come stick-pick, can I visit the vineyard when it’s up and running. It’s so gorgeous!

    (I have the large orange platter from Target in my Halloween collection too)

  49. Mike 49

    Wow, that looks like a ton of work! Hope it keeps going well–looks like it’ll really be something

  50. Tammy 50

    The property is lookin good! It must be so exciting to see all of the work taking place. Before you know it you will be picking grapes!

  51. TSannie 51

    Is that yellow in the first pic “leaves of three”?

  52. lisa 52

    Are you rich?

  53. I never picked sticks but when I was a kid I picked potatoes for a local farm. That was dang hard work and I imagine so will picking sticks.
    The propert looks like it is starting to shape up. Love the view from where the house will be.
    You must have either a really huge closet or a storage shed for all that Halloween stuff.

  54. Mrs. L 54

    Love. The. View! (and the Halloween bowls and platters). About that sticking thing though…..

  55. Pam 55

    I so can’t wait to wine taste at your vineyard. The kitchen view is AMAZING.

    Love the Halloween plates and bowls.

  56. The land is beautiful. If I was closer I would definitely volunteer to help pick the sticks. I would love to spend time outdoors working for a change.

    Love the Halloween pictures too.

    Your new view from the kitchen window is spectacular.

  57. Laura 57

    The view is amazing. It’s amazing countryside–I almost hate to see it cleared! But what an exciting project–and vineyards are beautiful in their own way too. Did you feel that way at all though? I felt vaguely sad when they put the foundation in for our house, since that piece of property was so isolated and lovely.

  58. Familia 58

    what a wonderful place it is going to be!

  59. Lori 59

    It’s so neat being able to watch things progress with your vineyard. It’s almost like I’m there!

  60. KA CHING!! looks like mega bucks to me, how long before you have wine to sell?
    Any view looks incredible there and also the soil looks very rich.

  61. So big!!!

    But, more importantly:

    CRAPPIT (I made that word up!), that’s A LOT of sticks!

  62. Katie 62

    What beautiful land! I can’t imagine what a wonderful feeling it must give you.

  63. Love the spider web dish!

    I had no idea there could be no wood in the soil. So grapes prefer alkaline soil? That’s going to be a huge task getting the land ready. Wow!

  64. Paula 64

    Ah, Oregon = home. Hope you have a big window looking out of your kitchen!

  65. We have a similar issue with clearing land here in NH – only it’s stick AND rock (and sometime boulder!) picking. Gotta love being in the Granite State. I’ve been trying to cajole (coerse?) any and everyone to come and pick paddocks – no takers. Hope you have better luck. Too bad you can’t use all those sticks for driveway cover. What WILL you do with all that wood? I use the rocks here on the farm for stone walls and to help stabilize/fill post holes for fences. Really enjoying watching the vineyard’s progress. Your land is beautiful and the view from your pending kitchen window exquisite!

  66. Wow Cathy! What a stunning kitchen view! I bet you’ll be inspired to cook all the time!

  67. Suzette 67

    Man! I’ll come pick your sticks…as long as I can pitch my tent on your homesite. I would KILL for a view like that! Amazing!

  68. dlyn 68

    I might be persuaded to pick up sticks – do you pay your help in wine? :)

  69. HOLY COW Cathy, you really are living the life.

    I want that to be MY view. Looking for a live-in Mammy for the little men?

    Good luck with it!!!

  70. Shane 70

    Oh gawd! I am as jealous as a 6 year old over another kids Lego Bat Mobile.
    You go girl. I am a bit far away to help with the stick picking, but I am there in spirit. I pity your back.


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