Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lessons in American History

So, I haven't posted in a little bit cause we've been so busy taking the time to play tourist at some of the most amazing historical sites in our area here in Northern Virginia. The area is so rich in history from both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and we didn't have to travel far to see some of it (which is great as we could come home and sleep in our own beds every night).

Being the goof that I am, I forgot the camera when we went to see Chatham and the Fredericksburg Battlefield. Duh. Nonetheless, we did see Chatham, which is only one of three homes in the country where Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln all visited. I wish that we could have seen the inside of the smokehouse, laundry house, etc., but they were closed off to the public. The house was in such a strategic area, overlooking Fredericksburg, and we were able to see where the Union forces had engineered one of their pontoon bridges to cross the river into Fredericksburg.

We took the tour at Fredericksburg Battlefield where the infamous Sunken Road is. They've meticulously crafted the stone wall to look like it did back in the day, but there's still a piece of the original wall there for all to see (but not to touch). Unbelievably, Union General Burnside sent seven (7) waves of troops against the Confederates behind the wall... with NO cover. They were slaughtered. I've got to do a shout-out to our tour guide, Preston, who was great! He believed that this battle was really Lee's greatest victory, although Lee thought that Chancellorsville was his greatest.

So, the next day, we motor over to Chancellorsville. If you're from this area, or have lived here for a while, you start to see some familiar family names crop up as you travel through battlefields and historic sites and recognize how certain towns and cities got their names. Chancellorsville is where Stonewall Jackson got shot by his own troops upon his return from scouting ahead. He didn't die from the wound, but they did have to amputate an arm. He actually died from pneumonia, and there is question as to whether he was sick prior to being shot. Here's a memorial stone that was placed in this honor way back when, and the monument.

Confederate Earthworks
It continued to amaze me how we have almost lost (and have lost some) of our historical sites due to urban sprawl.

Instead of going to The Wilderness the following day and keeping with the timeline, we decided to go to Manassas. What were we thinking?! It was over 100 degrees! But we went and took the tour regarding 1st Manassas (or Bull Run). This was the first battle of the Civil War. You know, the one that they thought would take a few hours and the war would be over? The one where people packed picnic baskets and came out from DC and surrounding areas to watch the "show". It was too hot to go on the tour of 2nd Manassas, so we wimped out and watched to movie they had on the whole thing in the air conditioned visitor's center.
I'll end our historical tour here for now. There's obviously so much more to tell, but I could go on and on.
I did, however, get two dishcloths per trip crocheted while in the car. :o)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So, this is the last week of school, and there's been so much to do with the kiddos. The awards ceremonies, programs, etc. It's hard enough to realize yet another school year has gone by, and my oldest is going into middle school. I know, I know, there are so many who've gone before him, and I'm one of many mommies who've gone through this. It's almost the same feeling I had when I weaned them from nursing (but that's a whole other story).

Anyhoo, I've been working on a few things in my in-between moments. I've listed a few crocheted earrings, soap holders and washcloths/dishcloths. I still have a plarn bag to make for my 91 year old grandmother in Denmark. I'm looking forward to that because she's the one who taught me how to crochet.

Still having fun listening to the kiddos. The other day on the way to school, the little dude tells us that one of the little girls in his class had turned around, and he saw her undies! I wish I'd had a camera for the look on his face. Hand over mouth, then says: "I wanted to throw up!" What do you say after that?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Dilemma

So, here I go! I finally decided to get a studio banner that reflects the professional look that I want. I went to libertydoll (aka Marissa) on Artfire. She's busy as all get out (like I'd like to be), very nice to work with, and pretty dang creative.

Now, here's my dilemma. She came up with TWO ideas for my banner (& avatar). Now, I can't decide and need some help, so I'm putting it to a vote. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Choice 1:

Choice 2:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Featured Studio ArtFire Fire Stalkers -- AJSweetSoap

AJSweetSoap is an amazing place. Just wandering through pages of decadent soaps is a treat in itself. How she does this, I don't know, but you definitely have to see it to believe it.

My main thought as I looked through the studio was -- OMG! I can just see my sugar hungry kids trying to eat the soap! Actually, it'd be pretty doggone funny... I guess I am a mean mom (see older post). But seriously, LOOK and tell me I'm wrong... I dare you!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


So, I took a little break from writing, and am happy to report that the beach/pool/shopping bag made of Wal-mart bags has been completed and can be viewed at my Artfire studio. Yippee!

Over the past few days, I have learned the following from my kiddos:
  • There is such a thing as "short-sleeved" pants. Otherwise known to the rest of the English-speaking world as "shorts".

  • I am a "mean mommy". I take this as a compliment. I make them brush their teeth.

  • I tell my kids - "Wait til you have kids!" This is eerily familiar... Oh wait, my parents used to tell me that!

  • I learned that I'm a "police mom". Apparently, that means I catch people, i.e., children, when they don't do what they're supposed to do.

I also had been trying to figure out what to make out of our old vhs tapes. I finally had the lightbulb go off over my head, and decided to try my hand at making belts. The first attempt, eh, not so much. Too squeaky. My second attempt - great! I mixed yarn and the vhs tape. It created a sturdier belt than just plain yarn and added a very cool shine from the vhs tape. It's in my studio, and I plan to make more in different sizes.

I've also found out that I absolutely suck at taking pictures. Even my 11-year old can take a clear picture. Mine come out fuzzy. It's not like I drink that much coffee. Maybe I'm just a spazzoid. I'm making the hubby man take my product pictures from now on.

I guess I'm done rambling for now.

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