Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome Autumn

It's a bit of a photo-heavy post but I thought I'd share my fall decorations.

Harvest Blessings welcome you at our front door and there are wrought iron pumpkins framing deliciously-scented fall candles on the hall tree.

These two hang from the doorknobs on the corner curio cabinets.

 Welcome Fall flags hang below baskets on either side of this plate rack sitting on a fall runner and surrounded by pumpkins, autumn leaves, and more candles.

Wrought iron and more candles on the coffee table - the house smells amazing!

A cornucopia bursting with fall foliage and there's more pumpkins and gourds in the basket on the shelf below.

Frosted fall fruit in the fruit bowl.

Crocheted fall doilies, made by Madame Cecile, the 90 year-old grandmother of one of the French officers who was stationed in this area a few years ago - I was gifted with a big stack of doilies in various colors.

Fall liners for my Longaberger baskets.

We used to feature this ghost in Sophia's annual Halloween photo to show how much she'd grown.

Scarecrow and pumpkin corner decor.

Snoopy - he has a switch that sets him moving across the floor - MudLynn was not too sure about the whole thing!

For those of you who have our email address, here we are as we3ghosts.

And finally, my tree -  Vic brought the larger one in from storage so I had to go out and buy the supplies to make more decorations to fill in the gaps.  I bought a long garland of leaves and pulled the leaves apart, hot-gluing them in clusters to a fall vegetable that I stabbed with a piece of floral wire.  All I need now is a fall tree skirt.

From the Family Photo Box Friday #3

Wedding Bells
Mum and Dad
Sylvia May Turner Evenson and Herbert Hendrix
March 31, 1956
Voluceau Chapel, SHAPE, Paris, France

Mum's dress was a dusky rose/mauve color.  I wish I had a color photograph.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Travelling on Thursday - Presidential Sites

I'll be backtracking over our visits to the Presidential sites here in Virginia.  This week we're going to James Monroe's Highland which we visited in April.

Highland is the historic house museum at the home of James Monroe, fifth president of the United States.  In 1793, James Monroe purchased one thousand acres of land near Charlottesville.  His plantation was home to his family for nearly 25 years.

The home today consists of a one-story, three bay by three bay, original frame section connected to a two-over-two central hall addition by a short wide hall serving as a parlor. The addition dates to the mid-19th century.  The photo below shows the addition, known as the Massey House (John E. Massey purchased the property in 1867).  Recent research has revealed the archaeological remains of the 1799 house James Monroe and his family occupied while they lived here.  It would be in the foreground of the photo below.

There are several other buildings close to the house: an Overseer's house, ice house, and the slave quarters shown below.

There are also vegetable, flower, and herb gardens.

It's a beautiful setting for a fun and interesting day out.

Known for over a century as Ash Lawn-Highland and simply Ash Lawn, the estate returned to the name James Monroe used for his Albemarle County home from 1799-1823, Highland.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 9/18/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

High 70s and mid to high 80s this week - ugh, I wish Virginia would get on the fall bandwagon!

On my reading pile:::
I'm still reading the second book in the Home Fires e-series, Keep the Home Fires Burning: A Woman's Work.

On my TV:::
Subscribed to BritBox so I'm watching it constantly - love my British telly - found all my old favorites and some new ones!
Outlander, Season 3, on STARZ

On the menu for this week:::

Salmon, shrimp, tilapia, pork chops - that's my shopping list for Costco so that's what's on the menu.

On my to-do list:::
  • Target and Costco Shopping
  • Make Name Tags for the Welcome Social
  • Set up for the spouses' group Welcome Social
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • Welcome Social - Morning Event
  • Welcome Social - Evening Event
  • Pick up supplies for Vic's Birthday Weekend Away
  • Pack for Weekend Away
  • Weekend Away!

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Disney Album all laid out - journaling is next.  Went to a Stampin' Up Bingo event with Vic (we called it Date Night) and we each made two cards.  Decided to host a handmade Christmas Card Exchange with my Sisterchicks and I may just make more cards for the Magical Holiday Home Forums exchange as well so I need to decide on the design and order the supplies.

Looking around the house:::
Laundry, laundry, and more laundry.

From the camera:::

Vic kicking off his birthday celebrations at the Paradise Cove luau in Hawaii.

Something fun to share:::

Went to the Treasure Shop with Vic to see if the Butler's Table was still there - it wasn't but I found a cup and saucer from another collection I'd like to start.  It's Royal Albert's Four Seasons so I only have three more cups to find.  This one is Autumn.

What I'm wearing today:::
Nightdress - heading to the shower now.

Only two days left to sign up for the 11th Tea Cup & Mug Exchange here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

11th Tea Cup & Mug Exchange - Registration is open!

Registration begins today for the 11th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange sponsored by The Enchanting Rose; you can find all the details here.  I had a wonderful time participating in the 10th Exchange, shopping for the contents of my package, meeting a new friend, and reading all about the various packages that were received.  If you like tea or coffee or any other hot beverage, this exchange is for you!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday 9/11/2017

It's time for another Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Click here if you'd like to join in .

The weather:::

I was really hoping that a few days when the temperatures were cooler would herald the start of fall but no, we're back up in the 80s this week.  On a happier note, all my friends in Irma's path have marked themselves safe and most have power.

On my reading pile:::
The second book in the Home Fires e-series was released, Keep the Home Fires Burning: A Woman's Work, so I'm reading that at the moment.

On my TV:::
World Without End and The Pillars of the Earth on STARZ
Outlander, Season 3, also on STARZ

On the menu for this week:::

Vic's traveling so I have no clue what I'll be eating this week, most likely something thrown together at the last minute.

On my to-do list:::
  • Spouses' Group Board Meeting
  • Haircut
  • Vic's big birthday - that he'll probably let pass right by him!
  • Potluck Stampin' Up/Bingo event

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::
Spent Saturday at an all-day crop and worked on the Disney 1999 album, and then after I dropped Vic at the airport, I continued on.  I've worked through Days One and Two of Four, still have the journaling to do as I leave that until last.

Looking around the house:::

From the camera:::

I'm one third of the way through my collection of Royal Albert Flowers of the Month cups and saucers - I found January at the Treasure Shop consignment shop here on the base last year, Sophia bought me April from a consignment shop in Poulsbo, Washington for Mother's Day in 2016, I found May in Fredericksburg last weekend, and I spotted August at the Treasure Shop when I dropped some things off last week and it was still there when I went to the Grand Opening last Wednesday.

Something fun to share:::

Cute photo of The Duke of Cambridge taking Prince George to school on his first day.  Such a shame the Duchess was too ill to go along as well, I know she must have been so disappointed to miss this big day.

What I'm wearing today:::
Sundress, flip-flops.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Travelling on Thursday - Presidential Sites

In our quest to visit all of the Presidential sites in Virginia, we set off last weekend to knock Zachary Taylor and James Madison off the list.  These were to be our sixth and seventh Presidential sites.

Zachary Taylor was easy.  He doesn't have a birthplace here in Virginia, just a sign.

The story is that although he is believed to have been born at the home of his maternal grandmother near Orange, Virginia, he was actually born during the time his family was migrating from Virginia to Kentucky.  Members of the family became sick during the journey and stopped at Montebello where Taylor was born.

It was a short drive from the Montebello sign (it's in Barboursville, by the way) to James Madison's Montpelier.  It was a dismal day with drizzling rain but that didn't dampen our spirits.

The property is beautiful, with the house, temple, formal garden, 8+ miles of trails, the Madison family cemetery, slave cemetery, field quarters, the archaeology lab, and a moving exhibit, The Mere Distinction of Colour, in the cellars of the house and in the household slave quarters, the South Yard.

Vic checks in with James, the Father of the Constitution and Architect of the Bill of Rights, and Dolley, America's first "First Lady" at the Visitor Center.  There is a short film which sets the stage for the tour and then it's off to the house.

This is the house formerly owned by Madison's parents and expanded three times to its current floor plan.  No photography was allowed inside but it was very impressive.  After the house was sold by Dolley Madison to pay the debts of the estate, many of the furnishings were sold as well.  Extensive work has been done to recover as many of them as possible.  Some of the furnishings are original to the Madisons, others are original to the era, and others are painstakingly-crafted reproductions.  Our tour guide was very thorough and gave a very detailed tour.  I had no idea that James Madison was a man of short stature compared to his peers, and it was very evident when there were cardboard effigies of a group of characters from history seated around the dining table. 

After our tour, we went down to the cellars to view The Mere Distinction of Colour exhibit.  The cellars are divided into two parts, with one part exploring how the legacy of slavery impacts today's conversations about race, identity, and human rights and the other, Montpelier's connection to the national story of slavery.  It was very moving.  We then walked over to the South Yard which was the work space and living space for the slaves who worked in the Madison household and caught the tail end of the Enslaved Community tour which was excellent.  If you ever go to Montpelier, ask to take one of Russell's tours, he was fascinating.

Our final stop, after lunch at the Exchange Cafe and a quick browse in the gift shop, was Montpelier Station, the 1910 train depot which has been restored to the Jim Crow era with segregated waiting rooms.  Not sure if you can make it out in the photo but the door on the right says Colored and the door on the left White.  It was interesting that this was also the post office and since postal regulations forbade segregation, there were separate waiting rooms for the train but both groups had their postal slots side by side.

I highly recommend a visit to Montpelier if you're in the central Virginia area.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge Volume 320

I thought last week was Volume 320 but apparently it was the Carolina Style Hodgepodge so here is the real Volume 320.  Click on the photo if you want to bear your soul join in.

1.  When you think about your future, what do you fear most?  Hope for the most?

I don't often think about dying but when it does cross my mind, I think about Vic and Sophia and how they will cope after I'm gone.  I've no doubt that they will manage, but coping is a whole different story.  I'll turn this whole dismal thought around and hope that I'll live a long, long time and they won't have to deal with this for quite some time to come.

As I wrote this, it also crossed my mind that I fear for our future generations.  My fear is that greed and selfishness will be so much more dominant in our society, that technology will replace simple kindness and graciousness, and that racial unrest will spiral out of control.  My hope is that we will very soon realize that we must make changes for the benefit of future generations.

Well, that was depressing...let's move on to chickens.

2.  September is National Chicken Month.  How often is chicken on the menu at your house?  What's a favorite dish made with chicken?  What's something you're a 'chicken' about doing or trying?

We eat chicken about once or twice a week.  I make a couple of signature dishes - CrockPot Chicken in Tomato-Garlic Sauce (known in our household as Chicken in the Red Sauce), Chicken Adobo, and Chicken Tikka Masala.  We grill chicken occasionally and I roasted leg quarters with sausage with a Nigella Lawson recipe that is delicious.  We haven't had my seventh grade Home Ec fried chicken recipe for quite a while although I used to cook it often when I lived at home with my parents and sister.

I consider myself pretty adventurous when it comes to food but I'd be a 'chicken' if you presented me with offal or bugs.  No, thank you.

3.  What are three things you don't own but wish you did?

A Maserati, a Ferrari, and a Lamborghini.  Just kidding.  I think a home gym, a pool, and a hot tub.  Still pretty luxurious but way more attainable than the three cars!

4.  Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one?  Explain.  If you answered one, which one?  

I think I'd rather be a jack of all trades.  It's nice to be able to do a variety of crafts or hobbies or pursue a variety of interests.  Just sticking with one would be pretty boring.

5.  Ketchup or mustard?  On what?

Ketchup on French fries unless it's Fish and Chips and then it's malt vinegar.  Ketchup mixed with balsamic vinegar over meatloaf.  I will occasionally put Dijon mustard on a sandwich but I prefer to use yellow mustard in deviled eggs or potato salad.  I'm not really bothered about either one on a burger, I prefer mayonnaise.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We've been praying for Texas, and praying for the fire-ravaged western states, and now it's Irma bearing down on Florida.  Our weather is out of control.  All we can do is pray and if we're in the path, prepare.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #77

Before I start this week's feature, here's a hearty congratulations to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge as news was released yesterday that she is expecting her third child, a brother or sister for Prince George and Princess Charlotte, due in April.  Sadly, she is also suffering once again from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the extreme form of morning sickness, and I hope it will pass soon.

September is National Biscuit Month (I think it's supposed to be biscuits as in Biscuits and Gravy but this is Tuesday, so we're going with biscuit = cookie) so here are a few of my favorites.

Walker's Shortbread - available in fingers or petticoat tails plus a dozen other varieties - a buttery delight.

Jaffa Cakes - a spongy biscuit topped with tart orange filling covered in chocolate - amazing combination.

The crunch of oats covered in chocolate.

And our Christmas favorite, a tin of Cadbury's chocolate biscuits - they don't last long in this house.