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Margo Sue Bittner
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On June 17, 1907, Hannah Denelia Ripley Farwell Ring died in the house then known as Appleton Hall. According to her obituary, Hannah was a kind and giving woman, active in community affairs, stalwart member of her church. Born in 1843, she was the oldest daughter of Cornelia and Allen Plumb Ripley. Cornelia was the daughter of a Canadian minister and his wife; Allen a young man who had a calling to the church after being tutored by a Methodist Minister. The Ripley family was moved through out the Synod in Hannah’s early days. Their annals reflect the family staying... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
From my Cornell Reunion -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ILR News Center June 14 2010 ILR, Uncorked Winery owner Bittner '80 draws on Ives education In a massive house of 100 windows overlooking Lake Ontario, Margo Sue Bittner '80 is pouring wine today and telling guests about ghosts who haunt the place. Bittner is getting back to winery business after celebrating 30 years as an ILR alum this past weekend. During a Reunion reception, she recounted how -- in perhaps unexpected ways -- an ILR education has served her careers and personal life. Bittner opened The Winery at Marjim Manor in Niagara County in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
Because Thursday Afternoon at 3 is our special time, I thought it was appropriate to post our latest ghostly adventures! On February 28, Buffalo Paranormal Investigations did a ghost hunting class. The goal was to familiarize people with the equipment and methods they use. That date was specifically picked. Dr. Charles Ring died in the house on February 28, 1908. As part of the afternoon's adventures, an EVP detector was placed in "the" doorway. Just before 3, the detector showed a reaction. When the recording was played back, a man's voice was asking "What? What?" like he was trying to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
I would love to be one of my manor cats. Ah, for the life of leisure. As Rod McKuen said, "Cats have it all – admiration, endless sleep and company only when they want it." Na Zdrovie! Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
And the answers! We had many entries in our trivia contest. So, first the answers, then the winners! Our first signature wine was A Pear Made in Heaven, done in honor of Jim and my 25th wedding anniversary. Dr. Charles Ring named the building Appleton Hall, although the original story credits Shubal Merritt. The Sisters of St. Joseph owned the home for 60 years. Hannah Denelia Ripley Farwell Ring is the Lady in the Window. Shubal Scudder Merritt was born in New Jersey, The fruit is grown on Singer Farms, my husband’s operation. Two people got all 6 questions: Way... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
I'm amazed at how much people know about the manor. Answer this question correctly and you'll be in the drawing for the gift certificate. A number of people have the previous 5 questions correct, and they will automatically get a gift certificate to the manor. So: Who grows the fruit from which we make our wine? Remember, most of the wine is from tree fruits... Cheers! Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
I'm amazed at how much people know about the manor! I think you'll all be assistant storytellers. So, this week's question: Where was Shubal Scudder Merritt born? The gift certificates are waiting - I hope I can put your name on one. Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
Here we go again - the fourth trivia question. Our newest grape wine is the Lady in the Window? Who was the lady in the window? And for a bonus entry in the drawing - which window was "hers"? Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
And the next question in our quiz: The Manor was the summer retreat for which order of nun. If you want to enter the drawing, send me the answer by email or by facebook message. The last two weeks blog postings have more information and the previous questions -- but now I have to be ready to greet customers! Cheers! Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
Thanks to all who entered our contest last week. If you'd like to join in the fun, just answer the question and send it to my by email or on my wall on Facebook. Remember, Marjim Manor gift certificates are the prizes! Question two: Who first named the building Appleton Hall? For those who missed last week's question it was : What was our first signature wine? Everyone was correct, so I'll include it here to give more people a chance. Cheers! Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
Each week for the next 6 weeks I will put a question on Facebook. Send me an email with the correct answer, and you will be in the drawing for a $10 Marjim Manor gift certificate. Get all 6 questions and you'll receive a $25 gift certificate! Please send me a personal message or email me through the Marjim Manor website with your answer. I will give the first answer when I post the second question. Question for February 6: What was the first signature wine the Winery released? Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
It’s. Yes, the anniversary of Title IX. Not to make myself seem old, but I was in high school at the time. Sports were not my idea of fun, so the hoopla passed me by. Why my children were in school, I dutifully sat through the swim meets, wrestling match, cross country meet, tennis meet and a few others. The band concerts were more my speed. As I look at the skills gained from their involvement in these activities, though, I marvel at what I hear. Sometimes I hear a coach’s voice as they encourage each other; sometimes a suggestion... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
It’s. Yes, the anniversary of Title IX. Not to make myself seem old, but I was in high school at the time. Sports were not my idea of fun, so the hoopla passed me by. Why my children were in school, I dutifully sat through the swim meets, wrestling match, cross country meet, tennis meet and a few others. The band concerts were more my speed. As I look at the skills gained from their involvement in these activities, though, I marvel at what I hear. Sometimes I hear a coach’s voice as they encourage each other; sometimes a suggestion... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
We saw "You Can't Take it With You" last night at the Lockport Palace Theater. What a fun play! Of course it was written for a different social era, so terms that were shocking to a 1937 audience didn't face the 2010 group. Phrases that today would be consider politically incorrect, still garnered laughs. But a little bit of nonsense now and then is needed. One of the actors I first met when I was on the school board, and he was on the board for a neighboring district. Another actor and I attend the same Temple. A third I... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
The Governor's proposal for the NY State Budget is out. I'm a little familiar with how government budgets work, having spent 12 years on a Board of Education. But this one has me flummoxed. I don't understand the priorities selected, nor do I understand how someone could be proud of this proposal. That being said, I have a few observations: It is all just numbers on a piece of paper. When it comes to a household budget, you know your income, your expenses and how to balance them. The state budget numbers are so large that they are meaningless. No... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
We are open all year. There are a few holidays we close, but other than that, we're here serving wine. This is the time of year when half of the phone calls are "are you open?" or "what are your hours?" As a result, when visitors come, we have lots of space and lots of time to spend with them. Sometimes, a customer realizes they've been visiting for a while. "No problem, " my daughter usually says, "I'm here until 6 PM." We have time to tell more stories, walk people though the manor. On occassion, someone wants coffee or... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
Why do some of our wines have musical names? The stock answer: They were named while we were sitting at our two oldest children's Cornell Symphonic Band Concert. Yes, we attending band concerts until 2 of our children were 22 years old! Bailey Hall at Cornell was being renovated, so the concert was held at Ithaca College. Ithaca is known for its music program. So, as we are sitting together before the concert, we started throwing names around for Cherry wines. Cherry Concerto came out, and a trend was born. Naming our wines is sometimes that simple! With musically inclined... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
As much as I've tried to write everyday, life is life. I get going on a project, or email and poof. Next thing i know, the day is completely gone. I'm a list maker, but the problem with a list is you add things and sometimes the earlier projects aren't finished. So, I try prioritizing, or adding notes, or adding steps to big projects. All I get then is a messy list. Through serendipity, I've acquired a blackberry. My daughter tells me it is so easy to keep my calendar and job list on that. I'm still playing with the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
My turn to weigh in on the Facebook bra controversy. As a breast cancer survivor, I have to say: Let's lighten up. It has been almost 9 years since my diagnosis, surgery and treatment. When I was first diagnosed, there was so much I didn't know or understand. Science was never my strong point to start with. I wanted to put on rose colored glasses and have the world be pretty. I wanted kindness, compassion, hope. That was how I coped with the words "Breast Cancer." Other women have coped with humor, with music, with support groups. Cancer is not... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
All I did was start explaining a couple of details about the Manor - and the history started pouring out. As you may know, I've been researching the house, the community, the residents, and a myriad of other details about this place, preparing to write volume 2. Volume 1 is the legend of Appleton Hall, Volume 2 will be the real history of Appleton Hall. Let me give you an example. Hannah Denelia Ripley Farwell Ring lived in the Manor between 1895 and 1907. It was on Sunday June 16, 1907 that she died here. Her father was Rev. Allen... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
Ah Friday. Some of you are ending a week. For us, the week begins. Weekends are our busiest times. With the renovations, we've technically been closed this week. We did have a few customers come in anyway, as usual. While you are thinkiing of the fun you'll have this weekend, I'm planning work schedules. Most of my days off are during the week, such as they are. While the weather is a bit blowy, I think I'll sit for a few minutes, do some needlework, pet a cat. Maybe even have a glass of wine - I think I have... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
If it's Thursday, it must be Toastmasters. (Anybody else remember the movie If it is Tuesday, this must be Belgium?) Thursday morning is my weekly (as opposed to weakly) Toastmasters meeting. However, given the cold weather and snow on the ground, I chickened out. When I say morning, I mean morning: 7 AM! Don't get me wrong, I love the meetings. They are a great way to start a day. We laugh a lot, applaud a lot, learn a lot. But there is something about getting up on a cold, dark, winter morning that has me reluctant to go. What... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
I spent today working on the actual history of Appleton Hall. I've found some newspaper articles and have been putting them in chronological order and finding many overlaps between the various families. Of course, the weather is less than delightful outside. After his morning constitutional, William Shakespeare came to inform me that he walk was not its usual pleasant outing. He promptly hopped up on my desk and fell asleep on the right side of my computer. Sally came to check in, jumped up on the desk, sniffed and groomed William and then curled up on the copier/printer. Meshuganah stopped... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
When people renovate a house, often there is more paranormal activity. Our renovations have a restoration bend. So, how do my spirits respond? Quietly. At least so far. In the last week, I've been awakened by music. But could find nothing turned on. A couple of customers have told me about hearing footsteps in areas of the house we thought were empty. We have had some trouble turning one of the fireplaces on and off. With a gas insert and a remote control, you'd like it would be easy. But some days it is, and some days it isn't. And... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings
It’s also National Chocolate Covered Cherry week. Who knew? Of course, as many people know, cherries are not my favorite fruit. However, chocolate can overcome almost anything. Cherry Rhapsody is wonderful with dark chocolate. Cherry Concerto is perfect with milk chocolate. I’ve always wondered – if chocolate is a bean, doesn’t that make it a vegetable? This week the winery will be closed – we have some painting and sprucing up to do. My commute is as short as ever, so if you really can’t be without my wines, call. It’s easy enough – although you’ll be tiptoeing through the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2010 at Marjim Manor Musings