Sperryville column for May 28

Birthday revels

Jackie Bogle Meuse welcomes Moody Aylor to the table at her birthday party last weekend. Chris Green | Rappahannock News
Jackie Bogle Meuse welcomes Moody Aylor to the table at her birthday party last weekend.

Revel Farm in Sperryville was the site of a joyous celebration last weekend. Jackie Bogle Meuse of Little Washington Wellness and Spa was surrounded by close family and friends to celebrate a milestone, namely her 50th birthday. Guests enjoyed Lorraine Duisit’s trademark delectable cuisine, libations flowed generously, and dancing took place poolside while the youngsters happily splashed and swam.

The vista from Jackie and hubby Joe’s hilltop property is simply breathtaking and guests were often seen quietly walking about and soaking in the sheer majesty of Rappahannock’s signature hills and steeply drawn valleys; all enjoyed amidst the lush green of a warm spring night. While there were many highlights to the evening, including a fantastic fireworks display, a poignant moment came when Moody Aylor arrived. As many know, Moody recently suffered an extended hospital stay, and is now home once more with his beloved horses. Many of Jackie’s guests, hunt folks who’ve known Moody for years, and amid much laughter and camaraderie, humorous stories of their riding exploits with him were shared.

Learning to ride with Moody is not for the faint of heart, and some of the most talented foxhunters in Virginia are Moody Aylor graduates. Wide grins were shared at many a table as Moody danced with Ann Pallie and then Doris Jones, both riding student alums. He may be 81 years old, but the man still dances with great rhythm and rides like the wind. The evening was splendid all around and Jackie was beaming. Happy birthday, girl!

Going Natural — and national, too

Cindy Devore of Valley Green Naturals is a force of nature. We recently wrote about her business opening its doors in Sperryville, and the growth has been astronomical. With her talented staff, she now sells Valley Green’s natural bath and body products in 37 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. “We’ve recently surpassed 13,000 Facebook followers,” Cindy says, “and online, our products are carried by walgreens.com, drugstore.com, walmart.com, amazon.com and online suppliers in Australia and the U.K. as well.” Cindy and her marketing assistant Lauren Miller are on the road nearly every week, she says, “in an effort to cultivate and nourish our local accounts.”

“Producing,” she says, “all of our products entirely on-site at our facility in Sperryville really resonates not only with our shop visitors, but with the natural grocery retailers as well.” Wish you the best, Cindy!

Old Rag Photography’s ‘Country Roads’

Bette Hileman's photo is among those on exhibit at Old Rag Photography Gallery's "Country Roads" show at RDA. | Rappahannock News
Bette Hileman’s photo is among those on exhibit at Old Rag Photography Gallery’s “Country Roads” show at RDA.

Old Rag Photography Gallery at River District Arts in Sperryville has a new show and opening reception from 3 to 5 this Saturday (May 30). The exhibit’s theme is “Country Roads.” Says gallery member Francie Schroeder: “The back roads of America breathe an air of mystic romance and history. Sometimes it is the roads themselves that fascinate, other times it is the sights along these roads from aging buildings, sinuous fence lines and luscious animal pastures to evidence of America’s changing times with urban expansion and new technologies. It is with these sentiments in mind that members of Old Rag Gallery have created their latest show.” Exhibiting with Schroder are Bette Hileman, Ray Boc, Joyce Harman and Geoffrey Archer.

Harman (whose photograph from the “Country Roads” show is on today’s front page) is also leading Old Rag Photography’s next iPhone/Smartphone Photography class this Sunday (May 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The class covers optimizing use of the mobile device’s features for picture taking. Tuition is $95 and the class is at River District Arts, 3 River Lane. To sign up or ask questions, contact Ray Boc at 540-987-9706.

Lily the therapy horse checks out a few chapters with reading students at Hearthstone. | Rappahannock News
Lily the therapy horse checks out a few chapters with reading students at Hearthstone.

Mini Whinnies at Hearthstone

Sally Petty’s “Mini Whinnie” therapy horses visited Hearthstone School recently. Her quadrupeds make visits to hospitals, senior citizen homes, schools and those in hospice. Sally sent a photo from Hearthstone of therapy horse Lily, who appears to be reading a book to the students. Sally’s minis are talented indeed.

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