Sperryville column for Jan. 26

Qigong at the School House

When Gordon Wicks moved into Sperryville a few months ago, we gained the opportunity to have yet another option for fitness. Sifu Gordon Wicks will offer qigong chin-na at the Sperryville School House starting Feb. 6. Qigong (pronounced chee-gung) aligns rhythmic breathing with slow, stylized movement and body awareness to achieve a calm, mindful meditative state. The practice aims to balance life energy and to gain good health. Wicks has been training under sifu Rupert Harvey in the tai chi “Praying Mantis” system since 1999, when he first moved from Virginia to Canada. Since that time he has studied with many masters, holds many certifications and has now opened the Golden Harmony Kung-Fu Club in Culpeper. Wicks was also recently certified as a personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Classes will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays; the fee is $60 for the month (or $24 per drop-in class). For more information, call Gordon at 540-729-4160 or visit goldenharmonykungfu.com.

Griffin Tavern’s good news

Many of us delighted in the culinary skills of Rachael Rowland at Flint Hill’s departed Four and Twenty Blackbirds, and later at Blue Rock Inn. Since Flint Hill does not have a columnist, I just thought that I would pass on the good news that Rowland is now the chef at Griffin Tavern. Three of us ate dinner at Griffin Tavern last week and delighted in items such as the outstanding duck sliders, roasted beet, arugula and goat cheese salad and a spinach and ricotta blintz with fennel and pork chops and a yummy sweet-potato-and-apple side dish. We will miss Victor, the former chef, but we welcome Rachel back home to Flint Hill.

Get well soon

One of our favorite physical therapists, Annie Williams, had some shoulder surgery. We wish her well and hope that her own physical therapy helps her to heal very soon.

The warmth of Heile’s kitchen

For the month of February, our cold end-of-winter month, Barbara Heile is showing all her kitchen paintings at her studio at River District Arts, with accompanied drawings and studies. To celebrate the warmth of the hearth and the heart of family, she is stirring up ideas on the stove, and hopes mouths will water, metaphorically speaking, at the idea of painting just for the love of color, and self expression, subjects Barbara would like to address for this new year. Come to visit her “kitchen” and be on the lookout for class offerings.

Art, barbecue, oysters and wine

This Saturday, the Middle Street Gallery “Artists and Friends” opening from 2 to 5 coincides with the official opening (from 11 to 6) of Rappahannock Central’s Farm to Fork Market, offering yummy products from Setter Mountain Moonshine Barbeque, Rappahannock River Oyster Company and Little Washington Winery. We are fortunate that we have so many new and relocated businesses spicing up what is typically a dreary weekend. (Remember that snowstorm two years ago?) So be sure to come out and gather in Sperryville for ABO&W on Saturday. It will be fun to see our friends here  . . . and then head over to the Washington fire hall to support the fundraiser for the Benevolent Fund. Shall we just plan to party all day on Saturday?

A month of birthdays

The Dan Armor/Michelle Daly Armor family is celebrating six birthdays in a four-week period: Bridget (Daly) had her birthday on Dec. 26, Keelee (Armor) on Jan. 2, Catherine (Daly) Jan. 7, Riley Grace Jan. 16, Danielle Jan. 20 and mother Michelle will celebrate Jan.30. Between the birthdays and the Christmas holidays, that is one big party time! Congratulations to all the birthday folks and to mom and dad for surviving!