Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas....some places we visited during the season

In my last blog I showed you when Santa came to my house. I thought I would show some pics of a couple of places we visit during the Christmas season. We usually start with a trip to Williamsburg, VA for their Grand Illumination Celebration. If you've never been, it's worth the trip. We visited the Williamsburg Winery in the morning, then went to Colonial Williamsburg for their fireworks, which start at 6:15pm. Afterwards we walked the streets, all lit up with lanterns, and stopped in a few of the stores. It was a very mild evening, and we were with some friends of ours.

It was the 50th anniversery of the Fife and Drum
Corps and a couple came to play at the winery.

Outside the Williamsburg Winery.

Waiting for the fireworks to begin.

We also visited Thomas Stone's house. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, among other positions he held in Maryland.

I love the bedroom linens of the colonial period.
The girl in the picture is a docent.

Part of Thomas Stone's main parlor.

Thomas Stone himself, discussing politics with his
relative, who is out of camera shot.

This year we also visited George Washington's Birthplace, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His home is right on the water and is just beautiful. The christmas decorations are not as elaborate as some I've seen from this time period. His original house burned down on Christmas Day, 1799, and you can view the original foundational outline, but the house that was built in early part of the 20th century is done according to that foundational layout.

Because your company could arrive from the land
or water, the house is built identical on each side.
That way, everyone always was greeted at the
front of the home.

Cooking was done in a room separate from the
main house. It was called the summer kitchen.
It frequently would catch fire. Slaves and
indentured servants would live out here. The
main meal was served at 2:00pm and was a
large meal. Leftovers were served until the
next day.

The Washington family parlor. Each tile surrounding
the fireplace has a picture that tells a different Bible story.

The family dining room. The tablescape wasn't the
prettiest I'd seen done for the time period, but it
is a beautiful room, with all the natural wood and
large fireplace.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa came to my house........in picture story

The house was all decorated on Christmas Eve, awaiting Santa's arrival.......

My Granddaughter Cassidy was excited! She couldn't wait to meet the jolly ol' elf.

Oh my goodness!!!!!!!! Someone is coming through the door! It's Santa himself!!!!
Santa Claus!!!!!!!! One look at his face, and this was the next pic of Cassidy...
That's her closed and locked bedroom door.
This is the sight that greeted us when we opened the door. She did not want Santa in her house.

We did eventually get her to come out and thank Santa for the present.

And we made Santa promise to return to the North Pole, and never come back again. I'm sure Cassidy will change her mind by next year and will eagerly anticipate his visit next Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Identity Crisis - Which Movie Christmas Mom Am I?

This is a repost from last year. I'm still shooting for Mrs. Krank.....

Over the years, as I watch my favorite Christmas movies, I've often wondered which Mom I most closely resemble in personality and actions. Is it Ralphies' mom from A Christmas Story? How about Mrs. Griswold from Christmas Vacation? Olivia Walton from A Homecoming? Sybil from Family Stone? Or my personal favorite, Mrs. Krank from Christmas with the Kranks.

First, Ralphie's mom. She has a certain appeal to me. She's a full-time homemaker, wears an apron, and even cooks part of her dinner the night before. Her house is impeccably clean and she serves her family home-cooked meals. Definately my idea of a good wife/mother. But we only have two things in common: Telling Randy he can put his arms down when he gets to school, and leaving the bully lying in a bloody heap after her son gave him a beatdown. Other than those two things, we are not really alike. Take the lamp incident: She just stood there while her husband put a leg lamp in their front parlor window. She didn't like it, in fact, she broke it one day, but not till then did she express her true feelings: "That is the ugliest lamp I've ever seen!" I would have expressed that when it came out of the crate, along with a "Heck no, it's not going in the living room." Besides my husband never throws away a box. All I would have to do is cart it downstairs next to his faulty furnance, and there it would stay forever. Okay, so I'm not Ralphie's mom.

Well, it's not red cabbage, but it is pumpkin soup, which is also really good, Ralphie.....

Mrs. Griswold. Now, I've never really cared for her. She has this NUT for a husband, and she never says a word. Prime example: There is a big, ugly christmas tree in the livingroom. It's huge and bent over about two feet on top, and all she says is "Do you think there's enough room for the angel on top?" Besides I can't be her if my husband isn't Clark, and he definately isn't him. Clark plastered the entire house with lights and then spent 24 hours checking them, and never realized a switch needed to be flipped in the garage. I'm glad I'm married to a smart man. Plus, truthfully, I would have told him it was the switch in the garage, not let him think his little temper tantrum miraculously caused the house to light up. Plus, our Christmas would have been over the minute my husband came through the ceiling onto the bunkbed. So, I can't be Mrs. Griswold, because I'm not married to Clark.

Hmmm, is there room room for the Angel or not?

Ahhh, Olivia Walton.....what a woman. Strong, independant, realistic. Raising seven children during the depression, lived with her in-laws, the mother whom, I don't think really liked her. She held down the homefront all week while her husband worked 30 miles away to earn money because there were no jobs to be found in town. Christmas was going to be her applesauce cake, and mittens and scarves she knitted each of them, and that's the way it was. No apologies, it's just life as they knew it. I would feel so guilty and would have probably taken the credit that Ike offered and bought everyone a toy. Not Olivia she said "We do not take charity in this house." But as John Boy pointed out, she did take the turkey from Charlie Sneed. But Olivia wasn't a stupid woman, and every mother with kids to feed knows that free food is not charity. But we would have to part company when John Walton came home and announced that he'd quit his job. During the depression????? When he said he'd make living on Walton's Mountain, and she said "In the middle of winter, with everything covered with snow" with love shining in her eyes, well, let's just say that's where I knew I wasn't Olivia..........:)

Oh yeah, I'd definitely cook Charlie Sneed's turkey!

Sybil Stone. She's a more modern mom. Always has a cluttered house, big mug of coffee, and a huge streak of gray running through her hair. She has a gay son, and isn't intimitated by her kid's sex lives. She never made life easy for them, because she knew life was hard. But she fiercely loved them and knew them better than they knew themselves. Each one of her kids were different, and she mothered them differently. I admire that. She wasn't afraid to voice her opinion to her husband, but she did go to him with her fear. I liked how her family cared what she thought, and wanted her approval. Somewhere along the way, she had earned their respect. But, I thought the husband was weak, and I would have walked all over him. So, while I would like to be Sybil, I don't want to be married to Mr. Stone. Can't have it all, I guess.

Even Sybil would have trouble parenting these two.....

Mrs. Krank.....my ideal. Seriously, she gets on my nerves, but I loved her life. Empty nest, creative, volunteers all over town, friends, good marriage, strong husband who takes risks. Let's skip Christmas and take a cruise!!! Let's go tan!! I'll meet you at O'Leary's for lunch. He would always look out for her, but didn't coddle her. She was in control of her domain, he was in control of his. The thing with the daughter was a little weird, but everything else was perfect. Now I'm not going to fight someone for a Hickory Honey Ham, but she could get her husband to borrow his neighbor's christmas tree, just so a tree would be there when she got home. I liked how when she had that "look" in her eye, he knew there was no fighting her. So, she's who I'd like to be, but I haven't achieved her yet.

But I do have something she doesn't have yet!

Let's face it, I haven't been portrayed in a Christmas movie yet. Ebeneezer Scrooge never took a wife.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Out of town.......again

I see the last time I posted I was suppose to go out of town and this time I am out of town. Sounds like I'm never home. It would seem, according to my blog, my life was a blast. Campers, beaches, boating, travel. But it's been four months since my last post. Oh, and I always go to the same places.....Bill doesn't like change. He likes tradition, especially at Christmastime, and our Christmas tradition is the Grand Illumination in Williamsburg, VA. So here we are, in a hotel room, since our camper is hibernating for the winter.

So, here's the thing....I wish I was at home. You see, there are two things in life I really love: Having all my children visit at the same time, and snow. Both of those things happened today, but I'm not there. Susan made lasagne, it's a cold, snowy, evening and she is staying the night. They are going to watch movies till the wee hours of the morning. They are going to drink wine. They are snug, safe, and warm. In my house, without me.

I am in a generic hotel room. Which would be okay, except the people we are travelling with have a large room with a jacuzzi, king-size bed, etc. We have two oversized twin beds and a small T.V. We got off the elevator on the fourth floor, and there was their room. Ours was down the hall. Well, it wasn't only down the hall, it was out the door and down a flight of steps. Doesn't seem fair does it? My husband said he would complain, except our room was free. Free??? It's from points earned on a credit card. Bill does love a deal, and free is the best deal going.

So, here I sit. No lasagne, no wine, no snow, no kids.......but I did bring my knitting bag. I must be getting old, because that just made me happy.