Hudson Valley Libations

Purple Sunset on the Hudson With Ships Wheel

As we wonder about the year ahead.  Contemplating what great and dreadful events we may witness, taking a moment to celebrate the present is always good, to share a libation and not necessarily the alcoholic type.

You see a libation is a ritualistic pouring of liquid. It may be a toast, a long celebrated tradition, featuring rich glasses of beer, wine or spirits.

However, the roots of this practice, of libation or oblation, came from the pouring of liquids as offerings to the deities found in many religious ancient and contemporary.  Very often this was wine, but also olive oil, in India I am told they used the refined butter called ghee, each poured from exotic vessels like a patera. Like this one from the Byzantine era. Spilled onto an altar or the earth.


I’ve read that in East Asia, the reverent seek to detach themselves from surrounding bad karmic energy by pouring an offering of rice into a running stream. How about a river?Thang Long Discovert

That being said we do enjoy a proper toast, with libations of the alcoholic kind.

There is quite a long history to this practice, it is an ancient tradition reports Rebecca Rupp writing for National Geographic in an article “Cheers: Celebration Drinking Is an Ancient Tradition” where she says. “No one knows exactly when alcohol first entered the human diet—chances are it was a serendipitous prehistoric stumble on fermented fruit—but clearly we took to it like ducks to water.”  Read More

We enjoy these “Toasts Proposed during the Revolutionary War” posted by  after an event for the launch of her novel, The Chamomile. Which started with: “George Washington attended a Public Dinner at Frances Tavern on Pearl Street in New York where he would propose 13 Toasts with Hot Butter’d Rum.”  and ended with

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” – Ben Franklin  Read More


Our own toast is this:

May the Year Ahead Be Great

Flow Everlasting with Surprising and Foreseeable Events

May We Relish and Be Grateful for Every Moment

Share with Others our Bounty


Of course there are many ways to accompany this toast with a suitable drink.  Check Them Out Here



The Writer’s Lonely Life


I must apologize, for goofing off, not writing in weeks. The excuses are easy, the holidays, work demands, all that. But it is really this.  As Earnest Hemingway once said “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.”  Not that I mind. Frankly I am a hermit by nature. Give me some good books, some wine, a comfortable chair, some things to eat, a view of the river and I am set for days. Ask my wife.

But , sometimes, the lonely life, leads to writer’s laziness, I won’t dare to say block because it is not nearly that severe. There has been no shortage of content, the last month has been filled with tons of activities, family, friends, holiday festivities. Lots of stories to tell.

Nevertheless, as a writer you can wonder, is anyone even reading? Does any one care? Why bother? Then something happens.

Yesterday, Neal Santelmann, Cold Spring resident, writer himself, with Hawkins International Public Relations, and member of the fabulous local band Laminated Menu, approached Diana in Foodtown yesterday. Saying “your her” from Hudson Valley Pleasures, “you changed the name to InTheHV.Com.” He paid us some very nice compliments and from a fellow writer that means a lot.

So off we go into a new year, inspired and writing again! Thanks Neal!


Yes They Are the Best Eggs We’ve Ever Tasted

Lydia's Cat Rock Farm EggsWe both, Diana and I, found these eggs on Facebook as friends, mutual and distinct, raved about their delicious flavor and crafty presentation. Said they were the best!

I was skeptical, we have been enjoying a lot of good eggs this year all gently hatched at the wholesome farms about the valley. We’ve had white eggs, green and brown, but these present a wider rainbow of colors.

They are from Cat Rock Egg Farm in Garrison NY, and as the hand signed letter that comes with your first box of eggs describes, these are from “pet hens raised with love & attention at our free to muck about home “yolkette”   says farmer  Lydia.  Continue reading Yes They Are the Best Eggs We’ve Ever Tasted


Happy New Year – Happy 2016 – A Leap Year and One with Great Promise


A toast and cheers to you, wishing you a very wonderful 2016.

It is hard to believe it has been almost a year, four wonderful seasons here in the Hudson Valley. We have met so many great people and had so many great times in all the wonderful places we have explored around our wonderful Hudson River Valley.

Looking forward to another great year and wish the same for you.

Peter and Diana

Peter and Diana Stonecrop Bamboo


Sunday Poem – Oh, What a Feeling in Me

By the Hudson in GarriosnA beautiful Poem by Peter Duncan.

Oh, what a feeling in me
To be, on this wonderful day
I’m here on this beautiful morning
I’m alive in a beautiful way
I’m hearing these birds all around me
Just singing a love song for me
It’s a wonderful, beautiful morning
By this river that captivates me.

It be five o clock in the morning
In the joy of this beautiful day
The kookaburra how he be laughing
In such a magnificent way
I think that he knows I am happy
This bird he is laughing for me
Oh, here in this countryside morning
I am filled with such sweet mystery.

The river gets into my being
As I sit here alone in the dawn
It’s wonderful, beautiful feeling
I feel like I’m being reborn
Oh what a sweet combination
All this morning, and nature, and me
I’m in love on this wonderful morning
Just me and this sweet mystery.

Copyright © 2015 Peter Duggan


Sunday Poem — The Weaver and the Loom

Loom Cropped Enhanced

My friend Judy Becker read this moving poem after sitting in meditation together.  I hope you enjoy it too.

The Weaver and the Loom

Sit here for a bit. Place yourself outside the frenzied pace of life.

Slow down long enough to appreciate birds in flight, water drops like prisms in the grass and countless shades of green.

Step off the fast track and listen to the sound of breath and birdsong.

Take a moment to just be, and in the being, know the whole of this creation,
mystery and madness, passion and profanity, know it all as one, stunning

Sit still and the thin line between sacred and profane simply fades away. There is nothing then to reconcile. All the disparate threads are woven on the loom of life.

Sit here for a bit and your unique place in the pattern becomes clear. Take the still point with you when it’s time to walk away.

Make the choice to see affinity, to watch the picture taking shape as thread joins thread.

Dare to be the weaver and the loom, creator and creation, the sower and the sown.

In a moment of stillness, all that came before is seen as one.



by Danna Faulds

Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga




Hudson Valley Pleasures has Changed! We are Now…

“in the HV”

We thought the new name was more fitting to our overall plan and mission, writing and sharing all the great things to explore and enjoy here in our wonderful Hudson Valley. Find us now at


That’s the charming and gregarious Tania P. Dougherty, Certified Travel Counselor and Certified Meeting Professional.  Tania owns and operates The Little Wine Bus,  The Little Beer Bus and conducts Hudson Valley Wine Tours and Events


Our Favorite Wine this Week is from Puglia


Yes, as you have no doubt noticed, we love our wine, and cocktails, and beer. Among the top 1% of consumers I suspect.  We love to share our discoveries, especially the good and moderately priced ones.

This beautifully crafted wine is from Puglia, Italy.  A place we are particularly fond of, the culture, people, cuisine and wine. We spent some time there a few years ago.

With a Smile

Negroamaro is one of the predominant red grapes of Puglia and this wine, which I found at Dylan’s Wine Cellar in Peekskill is another fabulous MARC DE GRAZIA SELECTIONS. We generally love all his wines.

Salento Negroamaro Masserie Pizari has powerful body, clean and flavorful fruit structures, and evolves and changes as it breaths. As we finished the bottle it was giving fabulous creamy vanilla notes.

It is made n southern Salento, in an area called Feudo d’Ugento where Negroamaro has grown for centuries. The estate was founded by Giordano Emo Capodilista and Francesco Marra, in 2005. Today the vineyard is overseen by  Francesco and the winery by Oenologist Andrea Boaretti. They keep the yield and production low to ensure the highest quality wines.

F.LLIBOA-100-W-13-7-Masserie Pisari-Vineyard1

At $13 or $10.50 in a mixed case this wine is sensational. Dylan’s Wine Cellar

Our trip to Puglia

dancer fountain diana italy 413 Patria Palace Hotel Entrance PATRIA PALACE HOTEL Italian Bar enhanced

Lecce at Night 1000 diana italy 343 Luncheon


We Enjoyed Dining at Kitchen Sink in Beacon

Kitchen Sink Dining Room

I don’t remember where I saw a mention of this place, but I immediately knew it was likely to be a restaurant we would like. And sure enough it is.

It is thrilling to see great new places opening up in Beacon. Harry’s Hot Sandwiches; The Vault which we plan to try soon, and Kitchen Sink, Chef Brian Arnoff’s inspired restaurant that opened in August.  Continue reading We Enjoyed Dining at Kitchen Sink in Beacon