Monday, November 17, 2008

The Grape Escape! It's Today!

Buongiorno! It is 4:00 am! Time to get out of bed and come along to the Muserino Vineyards! I have sent Vincenzo to fetch you in the pony cart. There is soooo much to do! My vineyard workers have gone to Salerno for some crazy holiday. I have tons of grapes to be picked and stomped and stuffed in a barrel. Come along. This will be so...uhm...educational. And ....uh....fun. Yeah, that's the ticket, fun. More fun than a barrel of wine. What? Barrel of what, Stevie? Monkeys? Don't be so analytical. Now hop hop hop out of those beds! Go go go!


You will each be issued: One sun bonnet, a goatskin full of spring water, a step ladder and a pair of grape shears. Cut the grapes carefully at the stem and place in basket. And don't be squashing them.



This is what grapes look like on the vine. No, Lavinia, they do not just come in plastic bags. You have to pick them.

You just pick up your ladder and your basket and follow the path. Then pick pick pick. The building in the center is the rest room. Good luck finding it. No sleeping on the job either! And don't eat the grapes. Pick pick pick until the lunch bell rings.


Giovanni will be looking in on you to make sure you are working. No slacking. Pick pick pick! The lunch bell will ring promptly at 1:oo. Giovanni will show you the way out. Don't try it on your own!


If you get thirsty, just holler for Mario. He'll be right along with a little something to pick you up so you can pick pick, pick.We'll have a delicious antipasto for lunch. Wait - are THOSE BEETS ON THE PLATE? YOU KNOW I HATE BEETS? What? Ohhhh, salammmmmi. Great. I can deal with that. I'm glad I didn't have to shoot another cook. I hate beets. Sorry for the outburst, but I'm all tuckered out from sitting here on the veranda watching you pick grapes all morning.


Here, eat this, it will make you feel better.
Have some more wine. And eat up, we've got some grape stomping to do.
Dump these grapes in that big vat over there.

This is the proper method for stomping grapes. Do it just like this and we should be done by 3:00. What? Still don't know how? Such city slickers! Okay, okay, I have a video clip for you: CLICK HERE
Now take your shoozies off and jump in the vat.



Okay, 1 2 3! Stomp stomp stomp! That's it. Pick the pace up a bit. Stomp stomp stomp! Squish 'em up good.


Now all you have to do is fill a few barrels. No, not ALL of them. Just the ones down the middle. The ones on the sides? Oh, that wine is ready for bottling. Shouldn't take but an hour or so.



Now see what you've done? Lovely! Try a glass! While you're enjoying your wine I'll hand out these lists of things to do and see today for the Grape Escape! Now rinse your tootsies off and enjoy the rest of your day with these great Grape Escapees:
Just click on each name for a wonderful trip through Rome!
Lavinia my co-grapespirator
If I've missed anyone please just leave me a comment and I'll add you to the list
Click on each name on the list for a wonderful adventure! A Great Escape to Rome. Ciao!

62 comments:

Blicky Kitty said...

Grazie Mario. Oh sorry I did a face-plant in the grapes. I didn't realize that Muserino vineyards had a 13% alcohol content!

Cinzia, sei sempre sveglia a quest'ora come me! Ora dormo, poi torno domani mattina per salutare tutti quanti. Sogni d'oro!

Janeen said...

Security Agents are in their places, ready to assist. (Hic-cup)

nanatrish said...

My goodness, I thought I'd be the first visitor, but lo and behold others were here before me. Thanks for such an amazing trip. Drop by and you can see some of the pictures I snapped :) You really know how to throw a party!!!!

Bibi said...

I love wine and this is a great post. Hic.

soulbrush said...

oooo we're on our way.....

Janeen said...

Hic-cup) I must advise you that we have a security breech on the Mojo deck and surveillance video shows we have a double agent on board. (Hic-cup) My newest agent, Pierce, is currently enroute... I will keep you advised as we monitor the situation here at Headquarters.
Cha Cha

Pat said...

Ciao Bella
Il vino รจ stato fantastico!
Grazie!
Arrideverci Amica!

Lavinia said...

Cindi Lisa! Aren't we all having a mah-vellous time? This is all too wonderful! I've been 'getting to know' Mario, and my my, what a national treasure he is! It's so much fun seeing everyone up to their shins in grapey wonder! Now I'm just filling up a barrel here with the help of Mario.....he's so handy, isn't he? He helped refill my goatskin more than once while I was toiling under that Tuscan sun, let me tell you...

By the way.... What are you...and Stevie the wren,and Janeen, *still* doing in the bathroom in my apartment? Stop 'studying' that artifact and come out and join the party!

willow said...

Beautiful pix! I've always wanted to visit Italy and someday I will. Your grape smashing pic brought to mind the "Lucy" episode. Hee-hee!

Blicky Kitty said...

I think since this vintage is so lovely at 10 am (EST) Muserino Vinyards should really market it as a breakfast wine. They never have a good somelier at the local breakfast diner. You could really create a niche! I'm off to the Vatican Museum and I'm bringing Father Gudlukio (we met at Lavinia's) with me. There's a spiritual issue we needed to discuss.

Hello Mary Lou said...

I had to redo some of blog and changed links. I just came and saw you have the new one. Everything is so beautiful! I will have to start on some food.

Lavinia said...

Musey, I thought I'd advise you that something fishy is going on in between rows 434 and 435 of your vineyard. I heard suspicious sounds---either furtive laughter or gunshots, not sure which---and then I saw smoke rising from between the vines....hadn't you better send Mario or Giovanni to check it out?

Musey said...

Mary Lou! I'm starving - only had avout six meals and some antipasto (without any beets on it) Can't wait to see what delights you have cooking up in your kitchen!

Lavinia - Stevie and Janeen are probably taking their "security" measures a little to seriously. I hope noone got winged. I cant have any fatalities in the vineyard again. I'll send the guys over to see what the problem is. I told them to look for a picker dressed as Davy Crocket and one with a phone in the heel of her shoe. I'll report back as soon as I find something out.

Lavinia said...

Phone in the heel? So that's what made the ringing sound. And here I was thinking it was some far off bells from a nearby church.

Queenie said...

Hic! I did come, you didn't notice hic! me sat quietly here testing the wine hic! did you hic!

MuseSwings said...

Queenie! Course I knew you were here - I've been sitting here resting my feet on your backside. Thought you were my trusty ole hassock till you started to hiccup! I'll have one of the manservants clear up these emptys so we can get on with the next case. Would you prefer a straw? I've got mine.

Church bells..murch mells.. Lavinia church bells dont play Giddy-up Little Horsey in B minor. Would you please peel some of these grapes for me? And quit spitting seeds in Queenies hair.

Lavinia said...

S.O.S.----Musey, please send out a search party. I am lost in the depths of your cavernous wine cavern, somewhere between the 1959 and 1972 vintage, I think. Thank Goodness I'm not alone. I have several bottles and someone named Guiseppe who materialized from behind a vat....

MuseSwings said...

At least you're not in the 1945 section that stuff is like gold these days. Watch out for Guiseppe he may star de-materializing at any moment if you get my drift. You didn't leave a trail of wine crackers, did you!!! I'm sending out a search party. You'll hear the "hic" sounds before you hear the footsteps, so keep your glass full - I recommend the 1968 it's perky province packs a punch. (E I E I O) You'll need it for Giuseppe. So get tight... I mean sit tight...or both, whichever and we'll be there soon as we can stagger over.

Maryann said...

Fun post!

Lavinia said...

Cinda-Rinda-Roo...sorry for the wee mess on the floor...Guiseppe's musket went off and hit the 1968 barrel...details over at my comments....

By the way, I just happened to pass command central and Janeen is asleep on the job!

Janeen said...

(Dusting off powdered sugar...) Pierce and I are on our way. I mean Agent Red is on the way... Respond to Operative requests for Madame Lavinia, she is near that often gigantic Bordeaux varietal. Find the great one, and procure a supply for our demanding Operatives. It is an intensely dark garnet with purple edges, fast-moving with thick legs and a viscous quality that hints at the depth of secrecy.

Lavinia said...

Agent Janeen wrote: It is an intensely dark garnet with purple edges, fast-moving with thick legs and a viscous quality that hints at the depth of secrecy.

I am wondering if she is talking about my wine or my ruby gemstone?!?!

Lavinia said...

Musey! Professor Peck is missing! And so is Stevie the Wren! Both were last seen 'talking' on the terrace. Shall we organize a search party? Exactly how many people are we going to have to fish out of the Trevi fountain tonight, one wonders....(in between sips of Campari, of course...)

MuseSwings said...

Lavinio - I think she is talking about your RUBY! Watch out - she may be a covert operative from...the....D-U-K-E..hide it on your person - and I don't mean Giuseppe! (Gotta be so literal with this dame!) About the fountain - do those Vespa's float? Need a quick answer on that one...oooh. never mind. What's your insurance number?
We'll arrange a search party to find Stevie et al. Yes, a party! Trish has that live music going. I can hardly hear myself drink.

Janeen said...

(Wiping off frosting...) Spy satellites can't read the license plate number. Headquarters was referring your beautiful ruby red gemstone, with deeply concentrated color through to the edges. Thick Legs is code name for Goldfinger who is infiltrating your capture.

MuseSwings said...

Janeen - I thought you were wearing a powdered wig there for a minute. You need to start rinsing those donuts off before you eat them. Or quit drinking. I'd go with the rinsing, myself. So who's side are you on? Lavinia would say something, but that ruby...I mean butter won't melt in her mouth.

Janeen said...

Security Headquarters is completely loyal to Muserino Vineyards. We are taking all precautionary steps to protect your reputation against MOLES. Could maybe... perhaps... your guest Madame Lavinia is being compromised?

Lavinia said...

Muse Swings! Call la polizia! Call Janeen! Someone just threw a five pound mozzarella at Guiseppi and it hit him in the head! He's down, he's down!! Repeat---one man down---roger---over---and out---~!

Lynn said...

That maze is outstanding! Real? Amazing!!!!
Love the foot stomping of the grapes as well.
Wonderfully delicious photos here.

Janeen said...

Madame Lavinia, the Cardinal wants your RUBY! Sending more Agents...

Lavinia said...

Cinammon? Oh Cinammon, yoo hoo.... some news for you....a latecomer....a party crasher...yep, in other words, Flossie's just arrived! How on earth did she catch wind of this shindig? Well I never....and get a load of who her escort is....

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Thoroughly enjoying the festivities. Later, perhaps the cinema where we can enjoy great comedy by Roberto Begnini or classic Italian film by el maestro, Fellini. Giusto bello!

Queenie said...

Arrr! thats sweet hic, I've never been called anyones hassocks before hic. Have you seen the size of the hic dandruff this sunshine has given me????? Hic Museswing tell me why you have two straws stuck up your nostrils hic......

MuseSwings said...

Thank goodness, Janeen - Was about readu to go into hiding. I'll stay out here where the wine is!

10-4 Lohania. The polizia are almost there! They are bringing some good crusty bread and Grey Poupon for that cheese. Guei is going to have to bandage himself up. Hide that ruby! Flossie! I told her we were in India not Italy. Curses, foiled again!

Lynn, thank you for stopping by! Sit with Queenie over by the 1973 kegs and have some vino. She's not going to be able to manage it by herself.

We shall all be over for the cinema, Petra Michell. We'll need a place to hide that Ruby and dry out - I mean rest up a bit. Perfect! Will there be popcorn?

Straws? Oh, thank you for reminding me Queenie. No wonder the polizia just called me a walrus. (poik...poik) there, that's so much better!

Janeen said...

Cinema? Did I hear Cinema? La Security personnel looooooooooove la movies! Will one of your vintage films be playing perhaps?

Lavinia said...

No Janeen, not cinema.....an explanation is in my comments.

By the way Cinnabon, I just cornered Flossie by the 12th century Roman pillars which hold up my wine cellar, and asked..nay, demanded... that she give an account of herself. But before she could answer, there was flash to the left and I quickly turned my head to see Professor Peck---and Nanatrish!!!---darting behind the 1957 Krug! WelL! I never! Naturally I had to tell Flossie to 'hold that thought' whilst I investigated....

Janeen said...

Hmmm, Madame Lavinia says that she is showing your screen test in her media room.

I'll send agents to stand at the door to check the Passports as they must be of age you know for the beach scene in La Dolce Vita.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the infamous beach scene. That's in there. Also the trevi fountain scene. In that distinctive Muse Swings style. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

That's me, anonymous! Meanign too lazy to sign in!!!Linolium

MuseSwings said...

Lavanon - You can't fool me. Those comments had anony..I mean Livainio written all over them. My screen test, is it.

Jan and Vin, I knew that screen test would come and haunt me, but I was young, and fooish, and needed rent money, and food money...and well you know, Lav - you've got a closet full of them yourself.

I hope you gave Floss something to hold her thoughts in. You know they're gone like a puff of smoke now.

And what have you found out about Trish and Prof Peck. What exactly are they up to this time? Put securety on them. It's the only way.

Janeen said...

Current video survelience shows them playing out scenes from another familiar movie... Roman Holiday. Alerts are coming into Headquarters that Trish has now cut her long locks of hair as she tries to portray the image of being Queen. Silly, silly girl. Doesn't she know Madame Lavinia will strip her of all the Crowns and Tiaras! And have her thrown into the cellar. Wine cellar that is. Not to worry though, her wine stained foot steps will leave a trail for my Agents.

MuseSwings said...

Yes, yes, I see exactly where this is going. Might as well give Trish a couple of wine glasses and then keep an eye on Lourvinio for a sudden onslaught of sparkley things on her person

MuseSwings said...

Lalinia! The gig is up! I've just been to Mary Lou's. Besides all of those WONDERFUL recipe posts she has a film of Italian Hand gestures. I thought you were using sign language all day! My answers to you gestures are: I am not! I most certainly did not! Don't be sayin' that about my parentage and same to you fella!
Also Mary lou has a film clip of Bebbers FAV Topo Gigo! How I miss those Sunday nights with Ed Sullivan!
Send a crew over to Mary Lous and bring back that delicious food she's been making all afternoon. I'm feeling a bit peckish!

Lavinia said...

my computer is being hijacked by a surly teen! Who is claiming to be doing homework! How on earth? I mean we are in Italy after all! La dolce vita, viva italia, mama mia and all that jazz..., and I never heard of Leonardo doing any homework, have you? Anyway, I'm going onto the rooftop terrace, the subterranean wine cellar, and the various nooks and crannies in between for the next few hours....with one male 'guest' or another....Hey, I hear the good padre is taking 'confessions' behind the replica statue of David in the foyer...catch y'all later!!

Janeen said...

Muse, thank you for redirecting survelience to Mary Lou. I neglected to see how far down her postings went today. I just came from there and whew, I am STARVING! Those donuts have hardly any carbs, it's all sugar you know. I told her to bring that brushetta and a couple of other things to your place so we could grab a vintage reserve bottle.... or two!

Sparky ♥ ∞ and Wiregrass Steve said...

Sorry to be so late ladies, but all that wine 'tasting' made me dizzy and I ended up in a corner somewhere. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) And then my pilot (ala Gregory Peck) went MIA. Hmmm ... are you done with him yet Lavinia? I really want to get home. This place is too exciting for a little country girl like me.

I ate all the rest of your donuts because the wine made me hungry. They were good. [drool] ♥ ∞

Lavinia said...

Well I see that thanks to *someone*, the donuts are all gone. Let's start on the profiteroles then!

Lavinia said...

Hey Chin-Chilla~! Update on the ruby! I swallowed it! So it's safe now, right?....right?????

steviewren said...

Yoo hoo, I'm here now. Sorry, I got side-tracked today...the men, the art, the vino...well, you know, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do when she's footloose and fancy free in Rome! BTW, why are there purple footprints everywhere?

Blicky Kitty said...

Hooo looks like father G. (well...actually he's just Gudlukio now...ooops) and I missed a whole lotta fun. I'm happy to see that you found Lavinia. We still have plenty of seats on the tour bus! I brought over some Tiramisu. Oooh and we can have biscotti from Prato (the little kind with almonds) dipped in brandy (Vecchio Romano) for dessert.

Sorry, if those are paw prints, they must belong to Blicky.

Lavinia said...

Blicky, that all sounds dee-lish!

MuseSwings said...

Did I hear tiramasu?? I am famished! Pull up a chair Blicky and lets have some of that biscotti too? Delightful. I have another case of wine breathing in the kitchen - we've gone all the way into my 1958 stash! We'd have more of the 68 if it weren't for the gunshots into the barrels! Lavinia did you get that corked up properly?
Janeen - thanks for having Mary Lou come by with the brushetta. Pass a couple of those down to Sparky!

Janeen said...

Well I think the day was a success even though all the *guests* were all over my agent ~Pierce. He'll need to go back to Basic Training tomorrow. Since you'll be on your on until the next mission I will leave you with the following information decide to accept a position on our next detail:

As an Agent of Cha Cha Security, you must work under these guidelines to be an effective operative:

Protect your identity at all costs, never de-mask during a mission, don't get followed home or to identifying vehicles, do not wear any clothing or items that may aid in identifying you.

Stay cool. Stay cool, especially when harassed. You are an ambassador of Anonymous. Although individuals trying to disrupt your mission will get on your nerves, you must not lose your temper. Doing so will threaten the mission and tarnish the reputation of Anonymous.

Always be across the street from the object being protested.
In the absence of a road, find another natural barrier between yourself and the target of the protest. Doing so will make it more difficult for individuals hostile to your cause to come and harass you.

Stay on public property. You may be charged for trespassing if you do not.

No violence, our missions are not "hot".

No weapons. This is a psy-op mission; you will not need weapons to complete your objectives. Play with their minds!

Anonymous is legion. Never be alone. Isolation during a mission marks you as a target for handlers who wish to provoke an angry reaction from you and other friendlies.

Bring water. A dehydrated, thirsty Agent is not a useful Agent.

Wear good shoes. You know, those cute strapy ones you bought today in Italy will be puuuuurfect! Following these rules will assure your comfort during the mission.

Document the mission. Videos and pictures of the event may be used to corroborate your side of the story if law enforcement should get involved. Furthermore, posting images and videos of your heroic actions all over the internet is bound to generate win, exhorting other Agents to follow your glorious example. Intelligence gathered during this mission will be extremely helpful for future engagements.

If you are captured or identified, Headquarters will deny knowledge of your existence.

If enemy operatives identify you, stay calm and call a lawyer. Document any confrontations as soon as possible for legal proceedings.

The enemy is everywhere. MOLES are among our ranks so trust no one.

Now go snuggle up with your secret agent and enjoy the crackling fire and more of Museswings vintage vino!

Commander of Headquarters
ChaChaNeen

MuseSwings said...

Janeen - where did you get all of this? Gibbs at NCIS?
I like the part about the crackling fire and the vino. I get the far corner of the sofa. Near the windo so I can enjoy a last peek at Rome before I have to dash back home. I have to clean the grout tomorrow.

Janeen said...

The source of the agent instructions is on a "need to know basis" and, well... it would simply compromise our working relationship. ha ha

It was a fabulous day my friend! Looking forward to the next adventure you and Lavinia dream up. Arrivederci!
Janeen

Blicky Kitty said...

Help yourself to all the biscotti and tiramisu you want. It's a special kind that's just like eating broccoli only healthier. I think the recipe was stolen from either the NCIS or the WSB.

Oh I'll just ask Bartender to bring me a double expresso so I can stay up late and work on all the church lady stuff I've blown off. :) Ciao Roma. Grazie Cinzia per una bella giornata!

Good luck with the grout. Maybe Gregory can help ; )

Debby said...

Hey, Muse Swings...lovely day. However, I'm ducking out of the country for a little vacation myself. Not sure when I'll be back. Depends on what artifacts are going for these days. Tell Lavinia I said hi, and sorry I missed her. Truly. Sorry. *NOT!*

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Ciao Cynthia! Ringraziarla per il viaggio meravigliosa a Italia (compliments of Free Translation). You truly were a gracious hostess on the most lush vacation I'll probably ever take to Italy. Grazie, Cynthia!
Buona notte (now I knew that!)! Petra

Lavinia said...

Well Connie, I mean, Corny, I mean, Calista....wasn't that a party? I'm all campari'd out!!

So lovely to see all the old familiar faces, and some of the botoxed ones too! (tee hee).

Same time next year....if the Italians let you back into the country that is...tee hee again!!

Pat said...

Lots of fun reading the commemtary here, Cynthia. Janeen warned me that for awhile the cardinal was in my kitchen but luckily for him I wasn't home or else I'd have revealed his true identity as Dr. Kildare, the super crush of my very young years! LOL

Ciao, Pat

MuseSwings said...

Ladies! It was a lovely day! Thank you all for joining in the fun! I am ready to camp out at the fireside and call it a day.
Lavonia, you don't mind if I stay one more night, do you! I'll let myself out in the morning with out disturbing the leftovers. I mean the leftover pary goers. I'll definately disterb the leftovers - a few more of those biscotti, please and thank you!

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