Category Archives: Virginia

Back to the Blogosphere

Scalzi said it was a rule that when you start a blog, or restart after long absence, there must be a pic of a cat. So here you go:

It’s been over a year since my last post. Things are pretty much the same. Same husband. Same kids. We’re all just a little bit older now. New dogs!

Cute, huh? And very entertaining.

The famdamnily returned from a vacation at Bryce Resort last week. Honestly, it was kinda boring, as we don’t play golf and that’s about all there really is to do around there. The nearest town (Mt. Jackson) is about 15 miles away on twisty mountain roads. But we had the pool, a nice townhouse, beautiful weather, and the highlight of the trip, the zipline.

It took about an hour for 10 separate zips. The boys loved it.

And then there is the beautiful scenery of the Shenandoah mountains.

All in all, a good trip.

Heartbreaking Virginia

This guy amazes me. I’ve never seen my home look so gorgeous. This one is called “The Awakening.”

The Awakening

And this one is “From the Beginning….”

From the Beginning…

Don’t you want to move here to Virginia now?

Fun Field Trip

Eldest Son and his class (sixth grade) took a field trip today to Agecroft Hall and ‘The Citie of Henricus‘ as part of their study of English settlement of the New World. I got to tag along. It was interesting.

First stop: Agecroft Hall. A Tudor manor, originally located in Lancashire, England, Agecroft was purchased in 1925 by Thomas C. Williams, Jr., who then crated it up and shipped it to Richmond.

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The kids were given jobs as servants in the manor house, and tour guides dressed in period clothing showed the kids what their jobs might have entailed in the early 1600s. Eldest Son was a shearer’s assistant. He thought it was a pretty cool job, considering some of the options (chamber maid, for example. Not a lot of maturity happening when sixth graders are having the truth about chamber pots explained to them, or how 16th century laundresses got stains out of clothing. Hint: they used ammonia.) After a tour and some hands-on (here’s ES brushing wool:) the kids signed seven year indentures, and voyaged to the New World.

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Of course, the voyage was really a comfortable ride in a chartered coach, and the New World was really Henricus Historical Park, located on the site of the second permanent English settlement in America.

Once the indentured servants arrived at Henricus, reenactors took them around the settlement and showed them what life may have been like for the settlers. Not pretty. If the fact that 2/3 of the settlers died didn’t scare ’em off, the idea that they had to live for seven years of labor with 350 men and boys (no women until 1619, at which point I think the men just grabbed whatever women were near the docks) pretty much made them go, “Yuck.”

Not to mention, it was really cold. We’ve had a temperate season so far, but of course the day when we’re outside for six hours is the day when it’s forty degrees (4.44 Celsius for all you metric-system types). I made lots of friends, as I’m a pretty good wind break.

Here’s the kids lined up to train as militia:

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ES is way in the back on the right, so you can’t see him. Wait – I think I have another angle:

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Not a great pic, but ES has misplaced my camera, so I had to use an old one without the nifty gizmo that makes the pictures come out clear even when your hand is shivering.

Check out nutjob child next to ES wearing shorts. What kind of parent lets their child go outside in winter wearing shorts?

After farming tobacco, trading with natives, and mustering for the militia (all while freezing their tucasses off), the kids were ready to get their freeman papers and strike out on their own. (In our case, striking out meant jumping into the mini-van and turning the heat up.)

It actually was a pretty neat trip.  I love experiences that make history come alive. Especially for kids like my son, who has no interest otherwise. I start talking about Tudor England or early N. American settlement, or even US history, and the boys/men in my family glaze over in a manner moments. Youngest Son will listen a little longer, but I think that’s mostly because he’s learning the art of humoring me. (Middle Son doesn’t even try – but then he rarely believes anything, anyway. I told him I was born in California, and he told me I was lying. When faced with a skeptic like that, what can you do?)

All in all, a worthwhile day.

Maymont

Took the boys to Maymont Park today. Nice day for it.

Maymont is the Victorian era home of railroad magnate James Dooley and his wife Sallie. It’s one of the favorite landmarks in Richmond, and a hugely popular site for weddings and such. There’s also an animal farm and nature center, which the kids love. It was lovely today, in all its fall colors.

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The boys at the nature center:

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Lookin’ at the animals:

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Lovely foliage and fighting children:

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I think I’m going next week to a wreath-making class here. We have this crazy old wreath that Hubby’s dad made forever ago, but Hubby won’t let me leave it in the attic. Maybe if I make one myself, Hubby will let me hang it instead…

Here’s Maymont from the James River:

Pretty, huh? I encourage y’all to visit.

Lynnhaven Pier, Virginia Beach

Hubby used to go to fishing at Lynnhaven Pier near Virginia Beach with his father when he was a boy. This weekend, we took our boys to the same place. As Hubby’s father passed away some seven years ago now, it was a nice trip down memory lane for Hubby, and a great tradition to begin with the boys.

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The boys didn’t catch much. Oldest and Middle Sons each caught one, while Youngest Son was more interested in picking dead fish and crabs out of other people’s buckets. (Believe me, I scoured his hands after he decided to hug some dead fish.) But they all got to swim in the warm surf of the Atlantic, and had a ball.

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They collected seashells, made new friends (Isn’t it amazing how quickly children make friends? I wish I’d never lost that skill.),  and waded so far out on the sandbars at low tide that Mom had a bit of a freak-out trying to shout them back closer to shore.

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They were especially pleased when the waitress at dinner that evening dropped her tray and painted Mom with ranch dressing and small vegetables. I even had carrots in my purse. The boys thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen. And they loved the free dessert we got for my trouble!

My Home is Beautiful

I mean, just check this out!

Into the Triangle of Light

Rippled Waters

The Morning Calm

Visual Thoughts has gorgeous photos, especially of the Blue Ridge mountains.