Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Mini-Vacation to Mount Vernon

In June I had the opportunity to attend a 2 day teacher seminar at George Washington's Mount Vernon.  It was like a mini-summer vacation for me.  I was gone for 3 days and 2 nights and had a great time!

I was quite excited that I was picked to attend the seminar on the Constitutional Convention at Mount Vernon.  Three years ago I attended a one week seminar at Mount Vernon but it is a place that I will never pass up an opportunity to go to.....ever:)

( view of the Potomac River from Mount Vernon)
Actually, I have been to Mount Vernon at least 6 times, mostly for field trips with my students to Washington D.C., but it is a place that I could visit a thousand times and never get bored with it. I fall in love over and over again with all the history that surrounds Washington's home.
After the seminar each day, the teachers were given a pass to explore the estate.  I wasted no time taking advantage of that opportunity!


Many of my personal garden ideas were inspired by the gardens at Mount Vernon.


By no means are my gardens as large as these..... I have smaller scale ideas and designs:)


Each time I visit Mount Vernon I get a sense of renewal and direction in what I am striving for at my homestead.  


It is a great place to feel inspired and to reconnect with American history.  If you let it, it becomes a portal into the past and you can envision what it would have been like to live during that time.  


The seminar was held in the new Fred W. Smith Library at Mount Vernon.


This was the lecture area were the seminar took place during the day.  The picture above is actually a projected image....it is a pretty awesome set-up. 


The seminar had 3 guest speakers:  James Madison, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton.


They each discussed concerns they had at the Constitutional Convention and Madison and Hamilton even had a few "heated" words about their perspectives on what was best for new United States.  It was quite an enlightening experience!


Even more exciting was getting the opportunity to have a "portrait" taken with these Founding Fathers......I felt like a true history geek but that was ok, I was in love and honored to be with these esteemed men,  I felt like I was in a time machine and was taken back to May 1787.....it was pretty cool to say the least!!!
It may have been just a mini-vacation but it was very rewarding mini-vacation!!

ps.....I kind of felt short in the picture, can you tell?;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top 5 Reasons for Why I Needed a New Kitten

Now before I give my rationale for getting a new kitten, I need to clarify a few things.
At one point I had 13 cats.  This peeked when I was working at a vet clinic and I took in a "few" special cases.  Over the years many of cats have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, all living well beyond the age of 13.  Next, I am NOT a crazy cat woman.  My sister Jen was convinced I needed an intervention because she did not want to face public humiliation if I showed up on TV as one of those "Crazy Cat Woman".  
I. Am. Completely. Normal. Sort of.
No intervention was needed by my sister.
Now that I have clarified those small details, here is my list of why I needed a new kitten.


#1 Reason.  Cute factor.  Totally sucked me in.  Its a terrible reason but its a fact.


#2 Reason....Friendly.  The kitten was really friendly when I picked it up.  No hissing.  No freak out session especially because I put him in an empty feed bin when I found it.  See I was taking care of my friend's horses when she was in Wisconsin visiting her sons.  She told me there were 2 kittens in her barn and the first day I was over there, well they were sitting right by the feed bins.  The other kitten hissed, freaked out, and jumped out of the feed bin.  This kitten stayed.  See the rationale?


#3 Reason.  Guilt would consume me.  My friend is moving to Wisconsin in the Fall.  She is not taking barn kitties with her.  Now how can I rationalize leaving a cute, non hissing, friendly kitten to an unforeseen future especially after the arctic winter Ohio just had?  I would worry all winter about what happened to the cute kitten I left in my friend's barn.....I could not live with myself;(  


#4 Reason. I am living with all senior cats.  Simon is 16.  Moo is 12.  Jangles is 11.  Sealy is 11.  Spooky is 11.  Alvin is 10.  Alvin and Moo are still pretty active and like being outside but these seniors need to be shaken up a bit.  Senior cats can get lazy.  My Senior cats can be boring because they don't want to play.  They just give me "the look". A young kitten is the perfect solution and so far, all senior cats are adjusting.  Simon even lets the kitten play with his tail;) 


#5 Reason.  I needed a Theodore.  I have Alvin.  I have Simon.  I needed Theodore.  Simple as that.


So, there it is.  My Top 5 Reasons for why I needed a new kitten.  
He is really a character. He likes to meow and follows me around.  He likes to snuggle too and loves to play on the screened-in-porch. 


He seems very patriotic as he has taken a liking to the American Flag.


Guess, I could have made a #6 Reason......Theodore is a true patriotic kitten:)