Saturday, March 28, 2009

The White House of the Confederacy

Today our small group visited Richmona, VA and went to the Confederate White House. It was a lovely house where Jefferson Davis lived. We took a long tour but we were not allowed to take pictures inside.

Some of the things inside of the house were the authentic, but unfortunately most was destroyed by the Yankees during the reconstruction.

We also visited the Confederate Museum. They had a lot of very interesting displays.

I have to say that the time I've spent visiting battlefields and museums here in "the south", I've come to understand an entirely different side of the Civil War. I'm not going to start flying a Confederate flag or anything, but it's nice to find out more about the history and fill in the blanks that have been there in my knowledge bank.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Great Contest

Here's a great contest that I came across. Check it out! You get this great Nantucket Bagg as a prize. Here's the website: Seriously - all you have to do is post a comment about a pile of snow - guess when it will melt - and you are entered in the drawing. These bags are pretty cool! Knitnzu is also a great site - Hope you enjoy!

Jon and Kate Plus 8

Last night I was duped. Big time. I kept seeing the trailer for the season finale of Jon and Kate Plus 8 and it looked like FINALLY Jon was going to speak his mind and tell Kate that "enough was enough" - "get off my back" - "stop nagging me" - and so forth. That wasn't the case.

I realize that this is a reality show - and I realize that the producers show us what they want us to see. Their life must be absolutely crazy and I am one of the millions who tune in each week to see how their life is progressing. But really. Kate treats her dogs better than she treats Jon and I can't believe that she doesn't see that. We all do.

So - back to the trailer. They showed clips of Kate yelling at Jon about him spending $50 for something and then him yelling at her that he wasn't going to move any more furniture......and guess what. Those clips were never seen in the season finale episode. Seriously.

As it turns out, Jon is very frustrated with the fact that he has kind of lost his identity. He isn't Jon any more - he's Jon and Kate plus 8. I'm sure that's true. He says he can't go anywhere without cameras following him all the time and people always wanting their pictures taken with them. I'm sure that is very frustrating and he might not have had any idea at the time they signed up for this that their show would be this popular. But - he did sign up for it. And I'm sorry that people can't leave them alone in public. I'm also sure that when you cart around 8 children, you kinda lose your identity. But guess what. It happens. To a lot of people. We just don't happen to have a weekly television show on TLC.

I'm glad they didn't have a big blow-up but maybe they need to. Maybe Jon needs to sit Kate down and tell her that she is terribly OCD and she needs to cut him some slack. That man works PLUS does a lot for those kids. He certainly is a hands-on dad and he does more than his share (by what we're shown on tv). I'm just really tired of Kate treating him like a little boy.

So - in the end - once again - the American Public was duped. And even though I'm tired of it, it was my choice to watch the season finale. To sit all the way through it in the hopes of Kate finally getting her dues. To be one of the ranks of people who can't get enough of reality tv.

Wednesday night is Survivor.......

Monday, March 23, 2009

Kansas in February

Rachael reminded me that I hadn't blogged about my visit to Kansas yet! I got to spend an entire week with my children and Braylon this past February! It was the absolute best to be able to spend day after day with them! Rachael went to a dance clinic in Kansas City over the weekend so I got to have Braylon John all to myself!

That little boy is so cute! :)

It was also the first time I got to meet Trevor - and I enjoyed that as well!

I also got to meet the pup for her little visit - so there are pictures from that as well.

Funny thing - even though it wasn't that long ago, I'm already trying to plan another visit to Kansas to see everyone again!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Looking at Houses

While in South Carolina, I spent several afternoons looking at house possibilities. This was one of them - and one we probably won't consider, only because it has just two bedrooms and needs several things done like wallpaper stripped off and painted, some window coverings taken off etc. Other than that, this was a cute little house. The one I wanted to have interior pictures taken of - well, you'll just have to use your imagination I'm afraid. I was not able to coordinate with the realtor to get them taken.

This is the front of the house.

This is the kitchen - lots of cabinets and lots of room. You need to overlook the fact that an 85 year old lady used to live here. Her son hasn't got it cleaned out yet.

The view out the back sunrooom is beautiful. It looks out over a golf course.

A nice deck....

If only this had one more bedroom.....

Anyway, it was fun looking at houses and dreaming. We'll see what happens in the next several months. We're patiently waiting on the outcome of the proposal.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Morning

I'm just as content as can be this morning. Jay had to head out the door early for a long, grueling day.

I on the other hand, got to sleep in. I leisurely got up and got ready - and now I'm sitting in the breakfast lounge of the guest house we're staying in. I'm sipping some wonderful coffee and cruising the internet.

Jay took the car, so I have nowhere to go today. It's just as well - it is chilly and rainy outside. I had planned on going to the horse races today but the people I was going to go with decided it was not a good day to be out and so they cancelled. OK with me.

When I'm finished reading blogs, I have a new book of Short Stories from the South and my knitting beside me. And since I CAN'T WATCH KU PLAY IN THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TODAY (sorry, I had to vent) I am just going to do all my favorite things today.

Later this afternoon, Vallie is going to pick me up and we are going to take pictures of the house I've fallen in love with so I will post them later on. When Jay gets home late afternoon, we are going to get a pizza and some beer and then we've been invited to some new friends home for drinks at 7:30.

Honestly - this is the most friendly place! In one week, I have made so many new friends. Listen to this. We had dinner Monday evening with some of Jay's co-workers that live in Augusta. They said that they thought I would enjoy meeting Pixie who works in their office. Well Pixie called the next day and said that she'd love to meet me but that she was very busy with the Trials this weekend and could she introduce me to her friend Vicki? I said sure - and Vicki called the next day. This woman met me at the bookstore yesterday afternoon and we had coffee and we drove around and chatted and shopped - like old friends! This woman met me - sight unseen- and took time to spend the entire afternoon with me! She was a delight and I was truly blessed beyond limits! They are the ones who have invited us over for drinks this evening. They also live in the area where our possible new house will be. (No Jay, I have not signed on the dotted line yet!) He worries so........

So - I'm imagining Chelsie in the St. Patrick's Day race this morning - and I'm thinking about Rachael eating Japanese this evening with her Trevor - and I'm thinking about Josh doing Saturday "stuff" and thinking about Jason watching his wife cross the finish line and feeling his back mend every single second - and I'm thinking about Braylon John being the most wonderful little boy in the world - and thinking about Jennifer settling in Japan - and I am just happy. Thank you God for this day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The South

I've been in South Carolina for 8 days now and honestly, it is just a wonderful place. Aiken is beautiful - and seems to be a wonderful mix of communities. This is definitely both golf and horse country. We are within a stone's throw of Augusta and this entire area is gearing up for the Master's. Apparently people in Aiken actually leave the area for that week because it gets so crowded - much like the people of DC left during inaguaration.

They have a lot of horse people around here. They have the Aiken Trials this coming weekend, followed by the Steeplechase and then polo. This is referred to as the Triple Crown and the community is all abuzz about the activities! I will be going to the trials on Saturday, but not before I was assured that I didn't have to wear a hat. I look goofy in a hat - but that's another story.

Many of the streets in Aiken are not paved - actually there is one area that is not paved and that is for the horses. People can ride their horses or the carriages and the horses won't have to be on pavement. Some of the street poles that have buttons to push for the crosswalk, have buttons that are up higher. They are for people who are on horses so that they can reach them.

The downtown area is so sweet and has lots of wonderful shops. I have found a fun knitting shop that has a get-together on Wednesday evenings and have found a cute little book store as well with a coffee shop in back. Score!

I also have made a few friends already. I am having coffee with a new friend tomorrow morning as well as Sunday lunch with another new friend. I like the direction this is heading.

Truth be known - the South is as friendly as I have been told. I am anxious to see if the contract goes through. I have spotted a house that I absolutely love - and Jay is going out with me this afternoon to look at it with me. Of course we can't even begin to think about making a purchase until we get a solid "yes" - but I can sure dream!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Finished Knitting Projects

I have had four knitting projects going at the same time for a couple of weeks now and I don't like it. I don't mind having two going at once: one easy and mindless and one more difficult and more challenging. But four? Too many - and it was making me frustrated because I wasn't getting any one of them done.

So my goal was to get two of the projects done before we leave for a visit to South Carolina on Thursday. Today was the perfect time to get started - we got about 5-6" of snow last night and this morning and I wasn't going anywhere! I got out the two projects that were nearly completed and got to work!

I finished this neck wrap first. I got the idea from a picture I saw online and adapted it to the way I wanted it. This was knit out of my very first spinning. As you can see by the fiber, it was definitely "chunky" - which is a polite way of saying that I hadn't mastered the art of spinning. And while I have yet to do so, my spinning is much finer now. That being said, I actually love the way it turned out. I love the chunkiness of the yarn and thought it was very appropriate for this piece. I added two bone buttons to secure it around the neck and viola!

Project # 2 were fingerless gloves. The pattern was from Liz and the yarn is Asti Alpaca with a twist (50% alpaca and 50% cotton). I love how they feel and they are going to be perfect to use when I'm on the computer during the winter. Seriously - my hands get so cold!

All in all, it was a wonderful winter day! I got to watch it snow while I was knitting. Talk about a comfort day!