Year-End Favorites and New Year Hopes

Clyde and I have spent this holiday season on the biggest emotional (not to mention daily living) roller coaster ride we’ve ever experienced.  I kinda shut down for a few weeks, but here on New Year’s Day I want to remember the goodness that we experienced last year.  So here are a few favorites from 2016’s blog – I hope you remember these times as fondly as I do!

brand new grandson

Top of the list, best thing that happened this year was this little guy, Micah, being born.  He is super sweet, healthy and happy so far, and we couldn’t be more tickled to have a new family member!  Read more about it here (and, fair warning, the end of that post shows off the ‘new’ tasting room we worked on this spring – sigh).

Karl Eggers & Lukas Simpson play in the winegarden

So many talented musicians played on our stage this year, but I think the highlight was that we had a house band this year.  Karl Eggars and Lukas Simpson came back repeatedly this spring, summer and fall to play music and help us dip our toes into evening musical events here at the winery.  They are both great musicians and super kind-hearted.  It was a true pleasure to listen to these guys entertain us regularly!

This year’s cellar party was one of the best ones in recent years. As you can see we didn’t need to stay in the cellar since the weather was perfect to enjoy fire pits and fun outdoors. We got to catch up with friends old and new, enjoy lively music, and eat really well to boot. Good times!

Pepe will always be a favorite photo around here. He has certainly made a name for himself, and sometimes I wonder if people come for the wine, or just to enjoy a picnic with Pepe! 😀

Shortly after the cellar party, Clyde and I took his Mom on a bucket-list trip to California.  Here’s more info about that trip, but I ended up loving this selfie we took in Napa.

lilac bush at peaceful bend

And finally, this spring was a gorgeous one around here, with lots of beautiful flowers and lovely weather.  Click on over to remind yourself what is a few short months away!

So there are a few of the good highlights of 2016.  Thank you to everyone who has shared photos of PBV on Facebook, Instagram, and through email – it’s been great to see what memories you love from Peaceful Bend, and help us reach even more people, like other strategies we have like getting Instant Instagram views online.

Clyde and I continue to wait on our insurance company to finish the fire investigation at this point.  Clyde has been clearing out junk from the barn across the driveway from the cottage and I have been focused on caring for his Mom.  We are trying to formulate what type of long-term plans we want to work towards, but are still debating and thinking of options.  So I guess you could say we are dormant, but quietly working on regeneration, much like a grapevine in winter.

May you enjoy a wonderful 2017 filled with love, peace, and wine of course!  Please stay in touch, and I’ll be back here on the blog as we have updates for you all.  Cheers!

Thank You From the Bottom of Our Hearts/Fundraiser Recap

Silent Auction Fundraiser
This past Saturday, a couple of our good friends, Lee & Theresa Watson (that’s Theresa above), hosted a barn party and silent auction to help raise funds for us, and it really brought home just how blessed we are to have so many people who care about us.

The weather was fiercely cold. The driving conditions weren’t as bad as the day before, but still were dicey.  Yet did that stop the 60 or so people from coming? Oh no it did not!

Everyone bundled up, the Watsons fired up their wood stove and their propane heaters, and everyone stayed comfortable.  Plus, my heart was so warmed, I’m sure that helped thaw at least one person!

Silent Auction Fundraiser

Silent Auction Fundraiser
Bob & Terry Riley went to town cooking fajitas for everyone. Delicious!  These two have catered so many events over the years for us.  It was an honor that they would be willing to feed us again.

Silent Auction Fundraiser
The silent auction was filled with so many great items, donated by soooo many generous people and companies.  The auction was spear-headed by Beth Yount, who was assisted by Sarah Carney.  They opened the auction on Facebook the week before the event to allow for folks that couldn’t make the event, then put those bids on the sheets to start the bidding at the party.

Beth was also the bar tender, serving wines donated by several Missouri wineries (and a few beers too). I’ve added a list of all the auction/party donors to the end of the post if you’d like to check that out.

Silent Auction Fundraiser
And there was live music all afternoon provided by a variety of musicians from near and far – many of whom have played here at the winery.  We were so flattered that they all came and performed at no charge for all the auction attendees.  Bill Poss & friend came all the way from Effingham Illinois to entertain along with locals The Idea Men plus our house band this year – Karl Eggars & Lukas Simpson.

By the way, Lukas’s wife makes the best coconut cream pie ever!  Angie couldn’t make it but sent along four pies to eat and auction. YUM!

Silent Auction Fundraiser
Julie, Mike and our grandson Micah came down to deliver baskets and keep us wrapped up in love (plus laughing at goofy faces)!  These two loaned me their camera that night, so all but one of these photos in this post were made by me playing around with their gear.  Thanks guys!

Silent Auction Fundraiser
Clyde’s mom, Maxine even made the festivities for a couple of hours. She and I had to leave early, but she got all the great-grandson love she could during the first part of the evening!

Silent Auction Fundraiser
If you’ve ever shown up at Peaceful Bend on a Sunday, you might recognize this crew.  Amanda & Steve are our Sunday regulars along with their friends Aaron, Tarynn and Dan. They enjoyed a few games of Farkle in the barn loft in between checking on the silent auction bids.  I have to apologize to these guys for not bringing our doggies along too – hopefully they enjoyed the Watson’s dogs that night.

Silent Auction Fundraiser
This goofy moment was captured by our friend Jean Brandenburg.  Our hosts generously gave Clyde a new tool belt to replace the one he lost.  Of course, he had to put it on so all the ladies could check out his, ahem, tool.    belt.    😀

Clyde and I have really missed seeing people, so Saturday ended up being a true comfort.  We are so honored by all the generosity and support that everyone has given us these last few weeks.  The gofundme campaign exceeded it’s goal, and we have so many to thank for that as well.

Plus all the notes, emails, and social media outreach has lifted our spirits during one of the darkest moments of our lives.  Thank you all so very much.   Every time we sit and process everything, we are in tears. I truly hope that you are surrounded by as much love and caring this holiday season as we’ve been experiencing. Thank you again.

Here is a list of all the donors I could come up with for the silent auction and barn party.  If I’ve missed you or left someone you know of out, please let me know and I’ll add them here!

Lee & Theresa Watson, hosts

My Vintage Varia (Paula & Ray Harvey)

Julie Brand, potter

Red Moose Vineyards

Edg-Clif Farm & Vineyard

Murphy’s Place

Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood

Stone Hill Winery

Meramec Scenic View Lodge

St. James Winery

Taryn Walk

Susan & John Zornak-Stevens

Public House Brewery

Mary & Steve Wade

Living the Dream, INC

Diane Engelsdorfer, massage therapist

Sarah Carney & John Sunderland

Ronica Clark and Jennifer Hutchinson

Karen Laboube, painter

Homestead Iron

ALPS Brands

7th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival

Bill & Marilyn Startz

Simple Folk Productions

Willy & Rob Bowness, potters

Farwig Farms

Nancy Quinn and Kathy Shoemaker, quilters

Elliott Ranney, musician

Bill Passalacqua, musician

Delrio Designs

Jessica Stroh, beautician & stylist

Julie Gill

Painted Sky Pottery, Kate Sachs

Cheri Groves

Joey & Erika Crider, artist

Crystal & Gerald Earhart

Sophia Ulmer, artist

Debbie Laboube

Skip Doak

Creekside Fudge & Gifts

Sybill’s St. James

Turtle Earth Healing and Arts

Ozark Ed (Smith), fishing lures

State Beauty Supply

Connie Smith

Bem General

Environmental Energy Consultants/Solis Farm, Dan and Deborah Payne

A Grace Day

The Improv Shop

Dressel’s Public House

Hope Montessori Infant Toddler Community

Barbara Gibbs Ostmann

St. Paul’s UCC, Gerald, MO

LaChance Vineyards

John & Virgina Watson

Robller Vineyard Winery

Cuba Arts Council

Odds & Bends, Greg Land

Mary & Rusty Young

In the Niche, Mary & Nobby Ota

Mound Ridge Retreat Center

Tim and Veronica Schuppan

McGinnis Wood Products


Splendid September

August playing at Peaceful Bend Vineyard

August Rolufs at Peaceful Bend Vineyard
Procrastinators, I have good news for you!  This past weekend was proof that good things can happen at the last-minute. The weather turned out perfect after a couple of days of rain. We felt so lucky that the all the clouds broke up to allow sunshine and cooler temperatures to reign during the afternoon.  The weather turned out to perfectly mirror the talents of the new-to-us musician, August Rolufs.

August Rolufs at Peaceful Bend Vineyard
August brought along his friend, Lucas Showalter, to play bass.  The two played a relaxed mix of modern, original, and 70’s-era songs.

August Rolufs at Peaceful Bend Vineyard
Lots of family and friends came out to listen to August and enjoy the lovely afternoon.  We even had a few new doggies enjoying the action!
August Rolufs at Peaceful Bend Vineyard
August normally plays with a band called Moon Jr., but put together a solo/duo gig for us.  He was excellent, so we were surprised to learn that he put together such a good performance with only two days practice!  It seems like good things at the last minute was the general theme for the afternoon.

August Rolufs at Peaceful Bend Vineyard
Another fun moment for Clyde and I occurred before anyone showed up to the winery.  Clyde has been watching some volunteer gourds and pumpkins grow for the last month or so in our leaf composting area.  As I was setting up tables and chairs in the wine garden, Clyde came chugging up to me on the tractor and stopped right about where I was going to set up a table.  He had a big grin on his face and motioned to the bin on the tractor.

As you might already have guessed – there were several large pumpkins in gourds that he had just picked.  So all those stage decorations were another last-minute decoration! 😀

Thank you to everyone who came out to enjoy the wine, music, and good company on Saturday.  We hope to see you again soon!