Monday, April 30, 2018

Life Last Week 2018-16

The weather:::
 No sprinter here - we're plunging headlong into sprummer with temperatures in the mid-80s during the week.  I'll be hibernating with the air conditioning on HIGH.

On my reading pile:::
Everything on this pile has gone or is going back to the library.  Murder in an English Village was delightful and I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.  I couldn't get into The Inheritance at all - lots of literal Scottish talk in that one and I just wasn't in the mood to interpret sentences like "'Tis naethin' mair tae be done" and keep a real rhythm going in my reading.  The Promise of Dawn was a tried and true Lauraine Snelling favorite, love her writing style of the lives of Norwegian immigrants.  Kick Kennedy was a great biography and I loved Barbara Taylor Bradford's Cavendon Hall and I've now moved on to the second book in that series.  I'll have a new photo for you next week.

On my TV:::
Worked my way through the Great British Menu on Netflix which is a competition series between the great chefs of Britain as they battle it out to have a place in cooking for the banquet for the 2012 British Olympians.  Amazing gastronomy there with foams and distillations and rabbit five ways.  No more lukewarm and covered with gravy British cooking here.  I also found The Last Post on Amazon Prime which I'm enjoying immensely.

Checked off the list:::
  • Two lunches last week - a farewell for our spouses' group adviser as she heads to Hawaii and the monthly Lunch Bunch - both very enjoyable.
  • April Rudolph Day
  • Mailed off both of my exchange packages - the Nail Polish Swap and the 12th Annual Tea Cup & Mug Exchange - and received my nail polish swap package in the mail - reveal coming May 8
  • Gathered up all the charities event RSVPs and sent them off to the base access contact
  • Spent a fun morning at the 65th Annual NATO Parade of Nations - we met a delightful couple who were visited from Kentucky and enjoyed chatting with them while we watched the parade
  • Dropped Vic at the airport as he jetted off to Maine for the week
Crafts roundup:::
Loveseat still coming along and I ditched the yo yo idea for something else. Yo yos and I were not compatible at all!

And in other news:::
The royal baby got his name - Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge - that's Lew-ee not Lewis if you didn't know.

This parade participant from Italy was a huge hit with everyone and so accommodating for a quick selfie! 

Z is for Zúñiga Chart

The Zúñiga chart, a manuscript map of the Chesapeake Bay and Tidewater Virginia, is a copy of a map that was probably originally drawn by Captain John Smith, one of the Jamestown colonists. Named for Don Pedro de Zúñiga, a Spanish ambassador to England, who sent it to King Philip III of Spain in September 1608, the chart is significant for its insight into the locations of Indian villages, the location of Jamestown and the architecture of James Fort, and the concerns and priorities of the English colonists.

And that's another A to Z all wrapped up.  Hope you enjoyed this little trip through Virginia.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Y is for Yorktown

In 1781, the British under General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown after a siege of three weeks by American and French troops; the surrender ended the American Revolution.  When we visited Yorktown, it was known as the Yorktown Victory Center with a visitor's center, 1780s farm, galleries, and the Continental Army encampment.  It has since been revamped and renamed the American Revolution Museum of Yorktown.

Yorktown was one of those sites that offered a great homeschool program and we really enjoyed our visit.  It's back on the Places to Visit list so that we can see the updated museum.

Friday, April 27, 2018

X is for X-asperating

The most exasperating thing about living in Virginia, especially in the Hampton Roads area and farther north as you get closer to our nation's capital, is the traffic.  At times it seems like there will never be enough freeway, bridge, and tunnel lanes to cope with the traffic.  We do what we have to the British say, join the queue!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

W is for Colonial Williamburg

Colonial Williamsburg is the restored capital of eighteenth-century Virginia, a living history museum that encompasses much of the historic area.  It is our favorite place to visit in Virginia.

We've been visiting Colonial Williamsburg since our first time here in 2003-2007.  They have wonderful homeschool programs where the children are immersed in history.  They have conversations with the leaders of the colonial periods, play colonial games, learn colonial arts, and enter the world of people who lived more than two hundred years ago.  Here Sophia has just been fitted for her mob cap and straw hat.

One of our favorite stores is the King's Arms Barber Shop (Wigmakers).  It is an amazing history lesson to learn all about hair and wigs in the colonial era.

There are reenactments of all sorts going on throughout the year.  This was part of a Revolutionary City program.

The Mary Dickinson Store has everything colonial mothers and daughters need in the way of fashion, and everything modern-day women would like to dress in period-correct style.

A colonial Miss

The Governor's Palace, residence of Virginia's royal governor, is an elaborate palace complex complete with stunning architecture and furnishings.  The house and exquisite grounds also include stables and a carriage house, service yards, and the outbuildings for the large staff of butlers, footmen, maids, cooks, laundresses, gardeners, grooms, and landscapes who were needed to maintain this magnificent property.

Read all about Colonial Williamsburg here.

April Rudolph Day

In the midst of the A to Z, I completely forgot to put up the Rudolph Day is Coming post for April.  I hope if you're a Rudolph Day participant, you had a fun and productive day.

I started out with this month's movie, Four Christmases.  It's been a while since I watched it so it was very enjoyable.

I updated my gift closet list as I added a few items to the closet last month and made my final selection for the Christmas in July ornament I am making for a swap.  That ticked the box for this month's task - Plan Holiday Crafts.  I had planned to make yo yo trees but what a disaster that was.  If you can make yo yos, I salute you!  If you want to give them a try, check out the instructions here.

As a lovely bonus to April Rudolph Day, my package from the Nail Polish Swap I entered arrived in the afternoon.  I can't give you the details yet - the reveal is scheduled for May 8 - but I can tell you that my swap partner put together a lovely gift box.  And, to finish off a great day full of all things Christmas, the new Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Dream Book is available online and in stores.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

V is for Virginia Beach

I have a love-hate relationship with Virginia Beach.  It has great shopping, restaurants, cultural events, festivals, and historic sites but it also has an oceanfront, boardwalk area that I cannot imagine anyone would choose for a vacation destination.  It's fortunate for Virginia Beach tourism that I appear to be in a minority.

We've seen Virginia Beach grow dramatically since we first moved here in 2003.  The town center area, far from the waterfront, is full of trendy lofts and hipster bars and restaurants.  The city has done much to rejuvenate old shopping areas and construction continues.  I'm not sure I'd ever choose Virginia Beach as a place to live but we have enjoyed living close by.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

U is for Universities

There are dozens of public, private, and predominantly religious universities in Virginia.  Perhaps the three best known are the College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech.

The College of William and Mary, established in 1693, is the second oldest institution of  higher education in the United States.  The alma mater of three Presidents, it is also that of numerous key public figures in our country's early history.  Located in Williamsburg, the College of William and Mary has been named one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.

Designated in 1987 by UNESCO as the first collegiate World Heritage Site, the University of Virginia has strong ties to Presidents Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.  Located in Charlottesville, it features a campus rich with Jeffersonian architecture. 

Through its Corps of Cadets ROTC program, Virginia Tech is one of the six senior military colleges in the colleges.  The university was brought very much into the eye of the entire country with the tragic shooting event in 2007.   The university is Virginia's most comprehensive with 280 degree programs and its leading research institution.

If this is Tuesday, it must be England #93

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their new prince and doesn't she look fabulous?  Anxiously waiting to hear the little one's name - Arthur, Edward, Thomas, and Philip are the front runners so far but we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, April 23, 2018

T is for Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Opening on April 15, 1964, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel won numerous awards as an engineering wonder.  Measuring 17.6 miles from shore to shore, the Bridge-Tunnel consists of more than 12 miles of trestle roadway, two mile-long tunnels, two bridges, four man-made islands, almost two miles of causeway and 5 1/2 miles miles of approach roads for a grand total of 23 miles.

The Bridge-Tunnel connects the Eastern Shore and the Virginia mainland, a route previously only connected by ferry.

Spring where you're from - TBB April Themed Link-ups

The Blended Blog has some really great link ups.  I'm not always organized enough to catch every one but I'm going to try because they are such fun.

Today is Spring where you're from (pictures of your home, your city).  Home for us right now (fellow MilSpouses and MilBrats, you know the drill...home is where the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard sends you) is Norfolk, Virginia and I gave you all a brief overview of the city in general earlier this month in N is for Norfolk.  Here's a more personal look (as in, photos I actually took).

We live in the historic neighborhood on the base.  I LOVE living on the base - our neighborhood is gorgeous, full of tress, one block from the beautiful Jamestown Exposition mansions that are now home to flag officers, one block from the golf course, and one more block from the marina.  It is a great place to walk, run, push a stroller, or take Fido for a constitutional.  It's safe, I don't have to worry about a thing when Vic travels and there is one site maintenance staff should I need them.  We lived in this house from 2012-2014 and surprise, surprise, when we moved back in 2016, they assigned us the exact same unit.  No wondering about the floor plan, everything went right back where it had been before.

I am not one of nature's little gardeners so I don' t have any vibrant flower beds to show you but several of my neighbors are fortunate to have these beautiful trees in their yards.

It's a Boy!

Life Last Week 2018-15

The weather:::
 Looks like a rainy and windy week ahead with temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s.  Rain, rain take the pollen away!

On my reading pile:::
And I'm STILL STILL working my way through the top book on of this pile, with the second one as my next book.

On my TV:::
Bingewatched The Crown again and Vic and I came to the end of Midsomer.  Now we'll start again from Season 1 because for some reason, we started with Season 13.

Checked off the list:::
  • Vic spent the week on an inspection in California, racking up more miles towards our trip to Washington in the fall.
  • Strategy session with our realtor - we talked about neighborhoods, house layouts, mortgage options, and other miscellaneous details.
  • Rescheduled my haircut because my stylist had the flu.
  • Volunteer shift at the gift shop.
  • Resident Advisory Board meeting for our housing community.  It was productive; some of the residents complain (on the neighborhood Facebook page) about every little thing so I was glad my co-board members are reasonable and offers solutions not just problems.
  • Picked up the chair I bought last Monday from the consignment shop.  Vic will reupholster it to match the loveseat.
Crafts roundup:::
Loveseat still coming along - found my yo yo maker and made my first yo yo.  Fail!  The small ones are really fiddly.  I hope I have more success with the larger size.

And in other news:::
12th Annual Tea Cup & Mug Exchange and Nail Polish Swap packages are almost ready to go out in the mail.

And if you haven't seen this headline yet...
The Duchess of Cambridge was admitted into hospital in labor - we're going to have a royal baby today!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

S is for Shenandoah National Park

The Shenandoah National Park is an almost 80,000 acre national park encompassing part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.  It offers campgrounds, lodges, and cabins, waterfalls, hiking, fishing, and breathtaking scenery.  Skyline Drive runs the length of the park and has 75 overlooks which are a great stopping place to snap a photo against the magnificent backdrops.

National Tea Day

Friday, April 20, 2018

R is for Richmond

Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War.  In 1780, the capital moved from Williamsburg to Richmond.  It's one of those places on our list of places to see in Virginia as apart from a quick trip for a conference, we have never visited the city.  

The city boasts a thriving commercial district, dominated by the law and finance, and home to many local, state, and federal agencies.  Richmond is a foodie city and has a large performing, visual, and literary arts footprint.  It is home to numerous listed historic districts and sites.  There is a lot to see and do in Richmond.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Q is for Questions

Do you have any questions for me about our time(s) here in Virginia?  Things that can't be answered by Google?  Leave them in the comments below and I'll be happy to reply.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

P is for Petersburg

Much has been written about the Petersburg Campaign, also known as the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg.  Although not a traditional siege in that one city was attacked and bombarded exclusively, this campaign involved a series of trenches over 30 miles long, a tactic that would foreshadow the trench warfare of World War I.

The campaign, fought from June 1864 to March 1865, was a decisive time in the Civil War:  General Robert E. Lee retreated and surrendered of the Confederate forces just after in April 1865.

Those of you who are familiar with Petersburg and have watched Mercy Street on PBS will recognize that, although the series was set in Alexandria, it was filmed in large part in Old Town Petersburg.  The Battle of the Crater, which also took place during the Petersburg Campaign, was depicted in the movie Cold Mountain.

RIP Barbara Bush

A great lady, a champion for literacy, and a loving wife, mother, and grandmother.  Put on your pearls as a tribute.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O is for Old Dominion State

Since this is our third time to live in Virginia, I feel very remiss in not having a clue why it is called the Old Dominion State.  I set out to find out the history behind the name.

There are two schools of thought, the first being that Virginia was the first, and therefore the oldest, of the overseas dominions of the Kings and Queens of England.  The second is a bit more interesting as it refers to King Charles II referring to Virginia as his loyal old dominion at the time of the restoration.  I'll let you read all about it here although it seems contradictory as in one place it says there is no documentary proof of his statement and yet it also quotes an address in 1700 where he says a form of the statement.

Prime Purchases April 2018

Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road put up a great post today - Prime Purchases - some of the items she's recently ordered online either through Amazon or other retailers - so I thought I'd put up my online purchases so far this month to see if there's anything you might enjoy.

As you know, I am addicted to The Great British Bake Off and I am collecting the cookbooks from the show.  This is the book from UK Series 3 which is not yet available on Netflix or DVD.  I'm not sure why PBS renumbered the episodes - PBS Season 1 is UK Series 5, PBS 2 is UK 4, PBS 3 is UK 6, and PBS 4 is UK 7.  The Bake Off is now in Series 8 although that series was the first one after the move from BBC to Channel 4 so who knows what that will do to the numbering!  The book had been sitting in my cart at Amazon for a while and when I saw that the price had a sizable reduction, I snapped it up right away.

Vic and I bought a beautiful piece of fabric from Joann's when we lived in Washington.  Vic made a wooden bench and the fabric was used to cover a cushion to go on the bench.  It's a great place to sit to put on your shoes.  As I've mentioned in my weekly updates, he's in the process of refinishing and reupholstering a loveseat one of our neighbors tossed and we decided it would look perfect covered in the same fabric.  We searched every Joann store in our area but no luck, the fabric appeared to be no longer available.  I searched their site online with no success but somehow, Vic used different search parameters and there it was - Novera Navy.  We bought enough to cover the loveseat and for a few more projects.

My only other online purchase this month was my order from Melaleuca and it was a pretty standard stock up stash of household and toiletry items - dishwashing liquid, stain remover, body wash, soap, deodorant, and refills for the plug in scented oil warmers.  I love the convenience of sitting down on the 1st of the month, placing my order, and having it arrive in the mail a few days later.