Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Do... In Colonial Williamsburg...

I wish...
-that I had learned how to use digital scrapbooking before this trip.
- that I had brought my little hp photo printer and binders to make memory books while we travel. I really wish I had thought of this earlier then today.
-that I had remembered how humid it is out here and could have left all our camping gear at home.
-we could spend a semester out here. Gove could teach at William and Mary and I and the kids can volunteer as historic characters. That would be such a great learning encounter for all of us.

Today we stepped back in time to 1774 through 1776. Thomas Jefferson spoke about the right to speech and the desire to see an end to slavery even for himself who has a number of slaves.

We visited with President Washington who has just announced today that he will not be running for re-election.

Gove participated as a judge in a re-enactment of an 18th century trial day here in Williamsburg. With his strong voice he was an entertaining participant.

Rain started to fall in the late afternoon, we took the kids back to the hotel and Gove and I returned to Colonial Williamsburg to visit the Cooper who makes barrels. But we found ourselves in the middle of a town gathering wherein a gentleman was accused of speaking against the cause of freedom and it was determined my the people that he must be tared and feathered because he would not denounce what he had said and openly apologize for his words. Just as the good men of Williamsburg were about to place the tar to this Tories back, he called out and said he would publicly apologize with a written statement in the local paper.

If you ever come to Williamsburg, you have to attend the daily closing ceremonies. Today the Fife and Drum band marched us to the Capital where Patrick Henry and other local leaders announced that a resolution for independence has been prepared and Virginia was accepting the Declaration. Down came the flag of England and up went the new Colonial flag of America. It was fun to follow and cheer. Gove accepted the call to volunteer as a Continental soldier.

The neat thing happened to me after the dismissal of the local citizens however. We walked into the local jewelers establishment, the Golden Ball, and Gove bought me a new wedding band and a wedding ring. The band was made here in Colonial Williamsburg and is a copy of the 18th century style. And the ring is called a Gimmel which was popular at that time too. This Gimmel is a three part ring. It's not fancy put I really like the meaning that the ring holds with the hand of the man holding the hand of the women and if you pull the hands apart there is a heart hidden behind the clasped hands. It was very nice and no fortune was lost.

Tomorrow we go to Jamestown and we will bring the kids back for closing activities here in Williamsburg. It's an exciting moment to hear the band and General Washington will be calling men to come to Yorktown and help stop Cornwallis in his tracks.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Virginia Is For Lovers... or so they say...

Aaah, here we are in Colonial Williamsburg. I say "aaah" because it's Sunday and we are resting. I was completely drained with an all day headache yesterday as I and the kids waited for Gove to finish his conference in Richmond Va.

For those keeping track, we left Minnesota last Monday, stayed with Elary in Marshfield and discovered she has a friend who recently built a brick refractory oven. We went to check this design and found it's something that Gove wants to make. (While we were in Washington state, we decided that we are going to start making breads with natural leaven. Gove has aspirations to build such an oven.)

We spent Tuesday next night in South Bend, In., with Chuck and Lynn. Chuck was with Gove in the PhD program in Minnesota.
Can you believe I drove through Indiana and forgot all about Gene Stratton Portter! Rats. Well, I hope to return again and visit Rome City in honor of all her wonderful books.

We arrived very late Wednesday night to Mt. Vernon. Little did we know of the rush that comes first thing in the morning to get in line for a tour of George Washington's home. So after two hours we finally saw the inside of this lovely home. Word of advice: be there at 7:30am and go directly to the house tour then enjoy the grounds. We visited the burial tomb of both George and Martha. Of great interest to us was the gristmill and distillery which Mr. Washington had established 3 miles down the road from his house. Beautiful craftsmanship is all I can say, and the way to make whiskey is equally interesting.

The humidity has kicked in or at lest it now feels that way to us folk who live out west. We stayed at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond for two nights. Friday morning I took the kids to the Museum of the Confederacy and the White House of the Confederacy. Both tours have spiked my curiosity to know more about the Civil War. I've heard of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, and slavery, but that just doesn't paint a picture of what happened. It was a shame to hear so much that I had not a clue of. So I bought two books. The Battle Cry of Freedom, and vol.1 of a four set volume of paintings with captions. This little volume which covers about the first two years has been eye opening all in itself with the perspective of the artist. Our family had a grand tour down the James River. I was surprised by the number of Great Blue Herons but not a single Egret.

Here we are in a wonderful part of American history. So many adventures await us over the next couple of days. And not a single reason to have to hurry. I think this might be our first non- stress vacation. Peaceful is how I feel.

See ya later...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nature Log, A Work In Progress...

2- Bald Eagles

Numerous Gold Finches

2 Cardinals

Many Rose Necked Grosbeaks

1 Indigo Bunting

1 Blue Jay

1 Ruby Throated Humming Bird

Many White Tailed Deer

Downy Woodpeckers

Great Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, Mallards,

1 Buffalo

The Great Grandparents Meet The Great Grandchildren...

These are the people we would come to see each summer we traveled to Minnesota. These are my Grandparents who are now 91 and 87 respectfully. Don't they look beautiful. Both are retired dairy farmers and have eaten oatmeal almost every day of their lives.

Tia on an antique tractor.

Bethany at the antique outdoors bathroom.

The great grand kids with their great grandparents.

FYI: I found a book today with a list of crazy laws. One said that in Brainard MN, all men must grow beards. I guess grandpa Emil never knew this one.

Before Hitting The Road...

Side note here; before we could leave, Bethany and I needed to add a second brood box to our bee hives. Beth's Italian bees were docile. We found the workers busy and the queen seems to be laying more eggs. There is honey and pollen being collected. We hope that while we are gone, these bees will continue to fill up the frames with honeycomb, larvae, and honey.

Things went so well, no bee stings, we hurried off to Uncle Loren's place in Orem to take our first look at our swarm bees. Well, the experience was not so well received by these little buggers. We were told to buy a bee brush to gently brush the bees from the frames. This swarm is large and I could not see any eggs due to the number of bees. So I ever so gently brushed them off when ALL OF A SUDDEN the bees attacked my hands!! Here I am trying to stay calm, Bethany is next to me spraying water on the bees but with no avail, they keep stinging. I decided real fast to put that frame back and and the heck with looking at more. I added the second brood box and told them they were on their own until I return and then I would show them whose the boss.

But this evening, the evening before leaving for our little field trip across America, I was stung six or seven times at lest on my left hand and two on my right hand. By Wednesday morning it looked like I might be suffering from Elephantitis. Luckily it was just local reactions which required a trip to the MD so I could get a Rx for prednisone.

Three or four days later the swelling and much of the itching was gone. I wonder if I'm going to
build up an immunity in time. Or maybe this will be a way to remove wrinkles. Except it's a little hard to decrease wrinkles after swelling two or three times more then normal.


On The Road Again....

When I was growing up in Washington state, our family would travel to Brainard Mn during our summer vacations. We almost always stopped to take a picture at this very monument in North Dakota. I was driving at sunset when I remembered this was the place! I pulled off and called the kids out to snap this shot. Sadly there were no buffalo except for the many chips on the ground.

People ask us how we travel together with our kids. We just have to point to our crew cab long bed Ford with the make shift sleeping loft in the back and then they understand. Here is Beth and Tia working on their homeschooling project for the day. You can just see Eli's elbow next to Tia.

The kids enjoyed tending a fire for a few days with Grandpa. Grandpa is a great mentor for fishing, hunting, and everything to do with camping and mountain activities.

Here we are relaxing at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Chewelah WA. They live up on one of the beautiful mountains surrounding the valley. We had no phone or Internet access. Gove finally mentioned how difficult it was to look something up and have to drive into town to use the web. I found it rather peaceful.

Grandpa and Grandma took the kids fishing. Mattia caught a Rainbow Trout (that's the biggest) Eli caught a German Brown, and Bethany caught two small Rainbow Trout. They didn't taste to bad either considering I don't like fish.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Days Are Just Packed...

I was thinking of Calvin and Hobbes the comic series when my days are full and busy.

Two Fridays ago our neighbors Cristina and Kacy called to let us know of a swarm of possible bees, even maybe killer bees. I doubted the killer part and in our bee education so far, we have not heard of swarms on the ground but why not.
Sure enough the swarm was of honey bees who most likely had split from someones hive. I and my sister hurried home and hastily put together a brood box and ten frames. I did not have either a bottom or outer cover, and did not use glue. I made a few calls to members of the Utah County Bee Association and they each said give the bees a chance to accept the hive. By this time it's almost dark, raining and turning cold. Placing that box above the bees was the perfect protection for them and almost immediately they started to enter. It wasn't until Sunday morning that Gove and I were able to move the hive.
It turns out that you have to move a hive over 5 miles in order to erase their memory of their current home site. We returned Monday night and the bees were busy bringing in pollen.
Tomorrow we will fetch our bees and bring them back home.

Our Idaho cousins are here for a weekend visit. Sadly, my daughters started in with the stomach flu Saturday morning and then two cousins this morning.

Is this all possible because we cared for twins Thursday who's parents were ill and we so quickly became infected?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

Ronald Reagan