Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Here are a few of the suggestions:
Gracie Beth at Preppy Southern Princess, and my facebook friend Sasha both thought I might like knitting. Seems like everyone is doing it these days, including my daughter. Yes, 'knit happens', but not in my house. zzzzzzz...lookin' for somethin' just a little more excitin', thank you very much.
Yeah, yeah, I know I can't sing, but, really...it is a cool song.
My family (on both Mama and Daddy's side) were some of Virginia's first settlers. As a matter of fact, my Dad is the first generation to not have been born here. Growing up, Grandad always told me stories about Virginia and the Appalachian mountains. They could always tell who was an 'outsider' by the way they pronounced "Appalachia." (Southerners pronounce it "Apple atcha".)
Even at that tender age I was very intrigued by her rich history. I mean, who wouldn't be? Virginia is the site of the first English settlement of what would later, of course, become the United States of America. She also played a major role in both the American Revolution (two of my 6th great-grandfathers participated) and the Civil War, or as we call it here, The War of Northern Agression,(in which another Grandfather and a handful of uncles and cousins fought valiantly.)
Virginia is also the birthplace of eight U.S. Presidents.
including my beloved George. ((swoon))
We have everything! Beautiful beaches, mountains, countryside. Big cities, medium cities, and small towns dotted along the way.
So, at 14, sitting in the back seat in complete and utter awe of the rolling hills, I begged my Dad to slow down so I could take it all in. Horses nibbling on emerald green grass, pastures enclosed by acres and acres of either white or cast iron fencing, the main estate manor/farm house sitting back in the faraway distance at the end of a long, tree lined drive. An Anglophile since birth, Virginia reminded me of every picture I'd ever seen of England. As Dad dutifully slowed the car down so I could get a better look, I secretly vowed to live here one day.
(Later in my early adult years after living in England, I found that I'd been right. The Virginia countryside is synonymous to Great Britain's.)
Perfect. I thought I was home.
Alas, Virginia, we didn't get off to a good start, you and I.
What I thought was a perfect neighborhood ended up being a nightmare. It's not your fault. It could have happened anywhere. It's over, I'm better for it and it's time to move on. Nonetheless, it was stupid of me to let it ruin the way I felt about you.
The fact is, we belong together. It's destiny. My DNA is in your soil - put there by the blood, sweat and tears of many generations before me.
So, it's time you and I got to know each other.
One weekend per month....
I will steer clear (pun intended) of the major highways and byways and take the road less travelled. No Wal-Marts, McDonalds, or chain-store-franchise-anything. Nothing but the fruits of the hard-working, sweat of their brow, down-home folks of each community I visit.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
No more tattoos, I promise
Besides, this is a different kind of boredom. It's more restless. I want to do something.
I need a challenge. And it has to be fun. 'Cause you know I don't do anything if it's not fun.
I need a change. Something I can experience, blog about it and take you along with me.
For instance, one of my blogging buddies decided to 'live in the year 1955'. She took a few days to research and then cut everything out of her life that was not in existence in that year, with the exception of the computer, of course. Her style of dress, cooking, shopping and lifestyle for the past 10 months has modeled that of a 1950's housewife. She uses no modern conveniences that did not exist at that time.
I don't want to do anything that drastic. Not that it doesn't sound like fun, but number 1, I don't want to be a copycat, and number 2, if my family had a choice between me and the DVD I'm afraid I'd be tossed away like yesterday's news. And watching NFL in black and white? Are you kidding? Yeah, back to the past is just not an option for me.
Life is a gift. Every moment is meant to be savored. Yet, I find myself driven by convenience, sacrificing simplicity and quality in order to save something I just don't have a lot of. Time.
The blogs I love the most are the ones where the writer is living simply, or better yet, simply living...
So, put on your thinking cap. All ideas with be seriously considered.
Unless it's really stupid.
i.e. I will not go to astronaut camp, culinary school or France.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Going with Rachael to shop for baby things. Her belly is so sweet in this picture (although I'm sure she'd argue that).
Spending lazy days poolside at my friend Meredith's house.
4th of July on the roof top of my office building, with the Washington Monument in the background.
The arrival of Sophia (finally) on July 29th.
Trip to Missouri
Ew, I thought long and hard before letting you see this one. Vanity almost won out as I chanted to myself "Do I or don't I?" Aw, what the heck? Are you going to like me any less because my double chin is hanging to my breasts (which are hanging to my knees)?
I didn't think so.
New house 'before.'
New house 'after'.
I revel in new beginnings, new places, where I can take the same things I've had for years and re-create, imagine, and use them in completely mixed-up,unique ways. I am in love with this house, but still...I don't think it will be my last one. I am sure I've got at least 'one more' new house out there for me to conquer before I settle down for good.
Cedric The Entertainer
(one of my favorite nights of 2009)
This particular evening was very special because it was courtesy of Cedric's sister and brother-in-law. We love Eric and Sharita like crazy, and Cedric's mother is a sweetheart. We've followed his career from the beginning and because of Eric and Sharita, he has always felt like family to us. So, when Cedric came to DC they arranged for Jay and I to go to his show. Imagine our delight when we got to the box office and tucked inside the envelope were backstage passes! Wait. It gets better. Our seats were front row! During the meet and greet he was so pleasant and patient with folks, posing for pictures and signing autographs, but I have to admit his face lit up when we told him who we were. Even though you know he loves what he does, in the whole scheme of things it's still a job, and I'm sure he gets homesick for his family.
More to come.....
Please leave a note...I'd love to hear some of the highlights of your year.
Monday, November 30, 2009
This is the view when you walk in my front door. My guests can smell the heavenly scents coming from the kitchen but they don't have to see the hellacious mess I sometimes create. However, this year I really didn't have to worry about that because Thanksgiving was catered by none other than Mama herself, which gave me extra time to cuddle the grandbaby ( her first Thanksgiving).
Here is the star of the show, Sophia, in her Thanksgiving outfit.
Sophia and her sister 'Drexie'. This little dog is absolutely in love with 'her baby.' This shot is special because it was taken when Sophia looked at Drexie and for the first time really saw her and seemed to understand, "Wait a minute. This is a puppy and it's mine."
I am so thankful for all of my many wonderful friends and family. I am grateful to God for my health, my family's health and all the beautiful blessings in my life.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Don't think I've been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, though. Nope. Well, maybe I am, sort of. This is the month my novel is going into production. Next month I do final edit and re-writes. (I have 15 days in which to finish it. No pressure.)
I don't know about you but when I get stressed I EAT. Oh, how I wish I could be one of these delicate little girls that 'forgets to eat'. I don't understand those women, but just once I'd like to be one of them. And since I'm not? Well, that's one of the reasons I haven't posted a picture of myself in ages. Let's just say I'm uh...larger than life.
I may be fat...but I'm happy. And happy is a great place to be!!!!
Friday, November 6, 2009
4. How long did it take you to write the book?
17 long, hard, months.
5. What is your pet peeve?
Easy. I loathe snobbishness. I simply can not and will not tolerate someone that thinks they are better than others, and treats them accordingly. That is the most valuable lesson my parents taught me and I have been very adamant with my children as well. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have, it is never right to look down your nose at someone else. (Even the Bible states that God dislikes someone with 'haughty eyes.') Prime example: I used to work at a retail shop and one of our customers always treated us like the scum of the earth. She was just awful. One time she even told the manager that she didn't want us 'sales clerks' to speak to her when she came in the store. Imagine the surprised look on her face when she and I came face to face at one of Washington's premier invitation only events. I'm sure she was flabergasted that I was sitting at the table with some of the ladies that frequently have their pictures in the society pages. After that she'd come back in the store and try to be nice. But by then the damage had been done. While I don't hold a grudge, I never forget how someone treats me.
I'm sorry it took me so long to get to your questions. Some of you had wanted to see pictures from my visit to the country a few weeks ago. Sorry! No camera!
But I will be able to post some pictures from some fun things I'll be doing between now and Christmas.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This is Sydney, her Daddy, (whom I only know in the blog world as 'Poloist') and her new horse 'Stormi'.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wow. Mark this day on your calendar. I have found something positive to say about this place. And Hades hasn't even frozen over. Hand me a Kleenex - I think I'm going to cry...
First, let's address the i-pod.
I understand the i-pod. I appreciate the i-pod. Because if you're listening to your i-pod you're not trying to ask me questions that are just none of your business. (Yes, I do come here quite often, and No, I do not have an extra dollar for you to buy a cup of coffee.) And unless you're listening to Merle (Haggard, for those of you who don't know who the greatest country music star of all time is), then I don't want to hear you're i-pod, either. Turn down the volume.
And please - I can NOT stress this enough! I do not want to see you chomping your gum to the beat of the music and/or jamming in the aisle. 9 times out of 10 you are a white man and you just can't dance.
(Above picture stolen from Flicker. If you actually know this person and arent' ashamed to admit it, please contact me and I'll credit the photo to you.)
Now, let's talk about cell phones...
Am I the only in with a crappy cell phone package? The only one whose cell phone does not work underground? Apparently so. Because this is the conversation I had to endure last night. No, I was not eavesdropping, she was talking at the top of her lungs.
"Giirrrrl, you know I told him to get his sorry %^# outta my house! Mmhmm, yes I did"
while the guy behind me is planning a corporate takeover,
"Get his &*(__ attorney on the phone, now! This is not what we $#@^^ agreed to! This is not in the (*&%% contract! Set up a meeting pronto!"
As they both got louder, and I am sitting between them their voices start to combine and it sounds something like this...
"Girrlll, you know ^&#@! and his contract **& booty call %$#@ in the office on the table *&&**) then I'll just date Senator ##@&* and smack his booty during a conference call!"
Whew! Talk about sensory overkill!!
I wish the Washington Post would publish this on their front page. Maybe it would make people stop and ponder if their behavior is metro-appropriate. Plus, I bet I'd have a lot of support, and it'd be really interesting to see what my fellow riders would add to the list.
Til next time...gotta go before I miss my train. Now, where's my i-pod?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Here's another view of Sally's room, aka The Shabby Chic Living Room. Yes, I know. I'm absolutely crazy to have an all-white room with a black dog. That's okay, it's just furniture. She pretty much rules the roost at our house.
Monday, September 28, 2009
She is also a huge part of my inspiration for decorating this house. I want Grandma's house to be a magical place, just like my Grandma's house was to me, not only as a child, but well into my adult life, as well.
The above picture of this 1940's flapper lady is one of my favorites. Notice the hat boxes and tea cup? You'll find that I'm obsessed with things like these when it comes to decorating. You just can't have too many and I'm always on the lookout for more.
I'm trying to get as much done as possible because next week I'll be taking a trip to Missouri for a few days.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Mr. T had called to tell me about the first plane in NYC that had hit the tower. Of course, my first thought was that it was a small commuter plane. When the radio announcer confirmed the second hit I thought, "Uh-oh, someone at the FAA is going to be in big trouble." A terrorist attack never even occurred to me.
A few minutes later the radio announcer screamed that a plane had hit the Pentagon. We felt a rumble and immediately saw the smoke and fire.
I was torn about what to do. Do I go ahead and try to make into the city, or turn around and go home and wait for the kids to come home from school? 17 year old Rachael was tough as nails. She'd be scared - we all were - but I could call her periodically. She could handle her little brothers queries. She was a second mother to him and he'd just as soon have her when a crisis erupts as he would me. However, I soon found out there was no phone service.
I thought about sending my parents home with the car and then I'd metro in to meet Jay, but it was their first visit and they didn't think they could find their way home. I learned later that the metros were shut down anyway, so I would have been stuck with no transportation as well as no way to communicate.
Sitting at home waiting for the kids, (not knowing what information they'd been given at school), we were glued to the television. I'll never forget Tom Brokaw's panicked voice, "There is another plane headed towards Washington. If you're within blocks of the White House you're in iminent danger."
Mr. T's office is 2 blocks from the White House. All I can do is sit and watch the news coverage of everyone scrambling in a hundred different directions. I hope I'll spot him, but of course, I don't.
Calls from 'back home' start trickling into my cell phone. Sonya wants to know "what's happening up there? We're watching the news and now gas prices are soaring to $5.00 per gallon." (To this day I have a very hard time forgiving the gas station owners that price gouged.)
I can't call out, but people can call in! This is good! I give each person that calls in an assignment.
Sonya is to call Mr. T's cell phone and find out if he is okay. I hold my breath until she calls me back and tells me his is safe. He will be home as soon as he knows all the people that work for him are on their way home and that everyone has someplace to go. He might be bringing a car load home with him if any one is afraid of being alone. He'll be home as soon as he can. Don't worry. Yeah, right.
My grandmother job is to call Rachael at school, let her know we've made it safely home, and then call Mr. T's Mom and let her know that we're all okay.
'As soon as he can' ends up being about 6 hours later. 7-year-old Will is huddled safely in his daddy's arms while we watch events unfold.
Life as we knew it is over.
"Daddy, are we going to die?" he asked.
"I don't know." We never lie to our children.
For as much as I've complained about city life and going back home, I am so thankful that I was here. There was never anyplace else that I wanted to be on that day.
What are your memories?