Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book Review of Congressman Ken Buck's Drain the Swamp

When I flew to San Antonio I packed the essentials: lots of books to read! (I also brought my WWII dress...but that's another story. Stay tuned!) One book I pulled out of the suitcase to read on the plane. It was the perfect choice for two reasons. One is because Congressman Ken Buck's book, Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse than you Think can easily be read in the time it takes to fly from Baltimore, Maryland to San Antonio, Texas. Within a couple of hours I had read the scoop by one who has seen Washington, D.C. corruption first hand. Congressman Buck tells the truth that #fakenews refuses to tell.

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"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crises preserve their neutrality." -President John F. Kennedy (p7)

Washington is a swamp because Congress (and the Washington bureaucracy) wants it to be; and most Americans have been badly misinformed about why Washington doesn't work for them. It has nothing to do with gridlock or partisanship or political bickering. One of my first revelations when I became a congressman was how non-adversarial the atmosphere was. There was plenty of bipartisan agreement that Washington should increase the size of the federal government and spend money it doesn't have. Members of Congress are, for the most part, fat and happy alligators who feel pretty darned comfortable in the swamp of Washington. (p8)


 Congressman Buck then gives first hand scenario after scenario, after scenario. He begins with details of being wined and dined, at tax payer expense, from day 1. Is this really how we want our tax money to be used? America is now in an unsustainable $20 trillion debt.

"Public virtue cannot exist in a Nation without private Virtue, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics." -John Adams (p43)

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams (p47)

"Morality isn't just about legality; it's about doing what's right. Corruption, for a congressman, doesn't have to involve illegality; it can be as simple as, and unfortunately as common as, promoting your own interests (chiefly reelection) over the interests of the country (fiscal responsibility)." p47

"There is no distinctly American criminal class-except Congress." -Mark Twain (p53)

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power." -George Orwell, 1984 (p63)

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." -Gerald Ford (p75)

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear." -Ronald Reagan (p85)

"The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery." (p95)

We need to get back to a basic understanding of what the Constitution requires of our federal government. The federal government is supposed to be small. Its power is supposed to be limited. the United States is supposed to be a union of largely sovereign states. The Constitution would never have been ratified had there not been agreement to include a number of amendments including the Tenth Amendment, which states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. -US Constitution

(p112)

Our founders' default position was to keep power as far from Washington as possible. We can no longer afford to ignore their wisdom. Our crippling national debt exists because Washington has too much power. Corruption in the federal government is a direct result of so many people getting comfortable in the stagnant political backwaters beside the Potomac. The concentration of power in DC attracts the worst and tempts the best, making it extremely difficult for men and women of character to arise and lead our nation to a healthier place.
The best way to drain the swamp in Washington is to remove the incentive for abuse. Swamps exist when water congregates in one place and becomes stagnant over time. Draining the swamp means draining Washington of power.
Washington can't abuse power it does not have. (p112-113)
"Our Nation's Founders gave us the means to amend the Constitution through action of state legislatures...That is the only strategy that will work." -Ronald Reagan (p129)

How did our Founders feel about debt? "...Thomas Jefferson first proposed an amendment in 1798 to keep Congress from borrowing money. Twenty trillion dollars in debt later, we can understand why." (p129)

"The way forward is found in Article V of the Constitution. Article V provides two ways for our Constitution to be amended." (p132 Clause A of Article V explains how Congress amends the Constitution. Clause B of Article V explains how the states amend the Constitution:

"...or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of  three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by Congress..." -Article V, US Constitution

The Constitution was ratified only because it contained this vital clause as a final protection of the rights of the states against the federal government. Colonel William Barton, a delegate to Rhode Island's ratifying convention, said of Article V: "This clause ought to be written in letters of gold!" He praised the Constitution, especially this "fair opportunity furnished for amendments provided by the states." (p134)    

This is why I am a volunteer with the Convention of States Project. Come sign the petition and join our team! Together, let's end corruption in Washington, D.C.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Jim DeMint and Convention with States

Yesterday I listened to a radio interview with Convention of States Senior Advisor, Senator Jim DeMint, who was a guest on the Nora Firestone Show. The concepts presented were so well articulated and crystal clear, I thought I'd share this terrific interview with you all!

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While serving in Congress from 1999-2013, Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina struggled to fight for freedom, limited government, and fiscal responsibility. He refused to become a Washington insider. In June 2017 DeMint became Senior Advisor for the Convention of States Project. “I’ve finally realized the most important truth of our time: Washington, D.C. will never fix itself. Article V is the only solution.” –Sen. Jim DeMint 

During the interview with Nora Firestone, Sen. DeMint clearly articulated key points about Convention of States.

DeMint explained how Article V of the Constitution discusses the amendment process. Not only does Congress have the power to propose amendments, but so do the states through the People. The Framers knew the time would come when the federal government might become so large, it would not restrain itself. Hence, the Framers gave the states the power to rein in Washington DC.
DeMint further explained that America will become bankrupt if we do not rein in Congress’ habit of spending and borrowing. Furthermore, the expanding power in Washington DC invades peoples’ lives. Although America has a long history of past conventions, this will be the first one held under Article V.

“What if the states are equally as corrupt as Washington DC?” Firestone asked. DeMint answered that a runaway convention is next to impossible due to the nature of Article V. That is because an Article V Convention of States is merely an amendments convention. Only amendments are proposed. In order for that to happen, 34 states must call for a convention, while agreeing to the subject matter of reining in the federal government. The topic of the amendments, “reigning in the federal government” is what protects the Constitution. The Constitution was not written for an expanding government, but for a limited government. The Convention of States is not about arguing the first or second amendment. Rather it will clarify the original intent of the Constitution to the runaway federal leviathan in Washington DC. Proposed amendments will need to be ratified by 38 states.

 When asked what the main objective of a Convention of States was, DeMint simply answered, “To save our country.” Washington DC refuses to balance the budget. More spending is projected for next year than ever in US history.  Currently there are no limits on what government can do or what they can spend. We need to change that with an Article V Convention of States.

Virginia Coalitions Director, Jim Bost, called in to the show to share how he became a volunteer for the very reasons spoken by DeMint. Bost had been increasingly discouraged by the out of control federal government before he came on board with Convention of States. He supports amendments for term limits as well as reining in the federal debt, which are germane to the Convention of States resolution. DeMint replied that Convention of States is all about restoring power to We the People.

Firestone then asked what long term effects would occur if we do not reduce the power in Washington DC. DeMint replied that quality of life would diminish, since freedom for the People become less as the federal government expands. It will become more difficult to create jobs, and opportunities will be killed due to an increase in regulation and taxes. There will be a lower quality of education. Insurance costs will continue to sky rocket. It will be harder for Americans to be successful. This is the opposite of what the federal government should be. Nora Firestone replied that if anyone wants to see what socialism or communism looks like, just visit one of their countries.

When Firestone asked why politicians don’t just limit their own terms in office, DeMint shared that at the September 2016 Convention of States simulation in Williamsburg, Virginia, an amendment was proposed for 12 year limits on federal officials. “It’s an act of mercy to bring them home after 12 years. Beyond that, they are no longer serving,” DeMint stated. The only way to Constitutionally pare back federal officials is through an Article V Convention of States.

“What is the allure of the swamp?” Firestone asked. DeMint replied that big players and big corporations want central control. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” DeMint stated. The lure of wining and dining alongside invitations to committees in return for favors, not to mention the millions of dollars spent to win elections, politicians are beguiled into power.

Convention of States Virginia Media Liaison, Brett Cole, was an in-studio with Nora Firestone.  He had an opportunity to directly ask Sen. DeMint how we should address campaign finance reform. DeMint replied it must be made transparent. All money in politics must be dealt with through a Convention of States to rein in the power. Washington DC runs our schools, our roads, our welfare programs. “Concentration of political power creates concentration of economic power.”  Firestone interjected that the money should remain with the tax payers.

When asked by Firestone how the average person would benefit from a Convention of States, DeMint replied that the quality of life would increase. There would be better schools. Because there would be more choices for healthcare, it would be affordable. Our roads would be free from regulation from the federal government. We would have welfare that actually helps people by getting them to where they no longer need welfare, instead of entrapping them into the system.  There would be more opportunities and career choices.

DeMint shared that he often hears that we no longer have George Washingtons or Thomas Jeffersons.  However, as he travels the country with Convention of States Project, he has actually met many noble people. DeMint meets many state legislators who support the Convention of States Project. He also meets many grassroots activists who volunteer for Convention of States. 

Currently Convention of States Project has 3 million supporters, and it continues to grow day by day. I, too, have become a volunteer. Currently I serve as Grassroots Coordinator for NoVA Central, and as State Communications Director. The results of this interview has been phenomenal, with lots of positive engagement.  At these links you can learn more, sign our petition, and  join our team.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

New HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Do any of your students take classes through the HSLDA Online Academy? If so, you can get a discount by typing PTCN4D8  in the "coupon" field when you sign up.  Students "will receive a $30 discount on their total HSLDA Online Academy registration cost. "Families registering two or more students should submit separate registration forms to receive a discount for each student." (Quote from HSLDA Online Academy)

Friday, September 1, 2017

On the Matter of Sewing for Others...

...alas, I must most apologetically say, "No."

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My Hand Embroidered 18th Century Pocket


Because every few months I am asked to sew a historically accurate 18th century gown, with all the required accoutrements, in 2 weeks for someone out of state who is very soon to visit Colonial Williamsburg...I find myself spending much time answering numerous questions...only to receive the final reply of..."Oh. I guess I'll find someone local to simply sew an inexpensive costume."

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My Hand-Sewn 18th Century Cap


Thus, I thought I'd share "my pitch" here so I can merely link to it for "future costumers." =) I think this will be quicker for their time and for mine. =)

Although I did once consider a business in hand-sewing historically accurate 18th century clothing, I have decided against that. For one, the business laws in Virginia are so strict, I have no idea what to do and that in itself paralyzes me.

Further, it takes much more time than one would imagine to sew. It takes me weeks just to sew one item for me or my kids.

Although I am not an expert, I am learning. I've had the grand honor of attending some of the fabulous Burnley and Trowbridge historical sewing classes in Williamsburg, led by the tailors and mantua makers of Colonial Williamsburg. Honestly, I am such a dunce. I am the slowest one in each class. I've yet to finish a single project basically because I don't remember various details that I learned in class. So, really, I'm not that good!

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One of my fittings for my hand sewn and draped 18th Century Gown


Also, sewing this clothing requires fitting to the actual body. It is exceedingly difficult to fit myself. It is much easier to fit my kids...except they are rarely at home any more so that means less sewing for them. Some seamstresses are so fantabulous, that they ask for measurements, whip up that garment, ship it to the home of one lucky customer...who can then slip it on and find a perfect fit. I'm not capable of that. Instead I make my kids (or myself) endure numerous fittings until I finally say it's my best.

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One of my hand-trimmed 18th century hats


The other reason why I will not sew for others is because it is too expensive. Proper fabrics can cost anywhere from $10-$20 a yard. Proper patterns can cost anywhere from $10-$20 a package. Then there is labor. I have no idea how to price labor. No one can afford minimum wage in the time it takes to hand sew a garment. Of all the people who have approached me, only one didn't even bat an eyelash at the cost of the fabric or pattern. That is because they were heavily involved in the reenacting community, so they understood the need for being spot on for accuracy and the cost that demands. That is why I sew. I could never afford to hire anyone to sew for me. And through it all, I have fallen in love with historical sewing.

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A peak at a reproduction I hand sewed of an 18th century jacket


Also, when I am fortunate enough to take a Burnley and Trowbridge historical sewing class, I am spending around $200; just for the class, along with travel, hotel, and food. That is a worthy investment for all that I learn. Also, that is copyrighted information which I am happy to honor, but not able to share.

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My son looking quite dapper in his hand sewn 18th century attire...at Colonial Williamsburg


However I can share the result of my work here. One of my goals is to share the hours and prices spent upon each garment. That shall be forthcoming in another post. Meanwhile I have lots of fabrics and projects that I began a few years ago. I do hope to pick them up once again.

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The Lafayette Regimental...based on my research of General Washington's orders for regimentals...and many thanks to CW for a peak at General Lafayette's epaulettes

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

San Antonio Riverwalk

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On this day my kids got to take their first river barge tour of the San Antonio River. Can you believe it? It never worked out to take them when we lived there. The rides are a bit pricey. Most of our travel budget would go solely for "summer vacation" instead of local places. However I was determined to get them on the barge when we studied the Gilded Age, but by then, we were whisked away to our new home in Virginia. After 8 years in beautiful Virginia, it was so much fun to see the Riverwalk again! It was always a fun place to visit, even just to walk around. With all the water we have in Virginia, living near the Chesapeake, we have yet to find anything that looks like this oasis. And it's truly an oasis...even historically. San Antonio was founded by travelers from the Kingdom of Spain because of this river...which was their oasis...and became their capital. So...you're probably wondering where the Gilded Age comes in. Just wait...      

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This is Rivercenter Mall, several stories of shopping and an IMAX theater abound. I highly recommend the Alamo movie at the IMAX btw. But we aren't here for shopping. It was a beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky. The temperature was cool and it was low humidity! That is rare in May! It was definitely a day to be outdoors! Here we boarded our barge. Each one is named after a lady of San Antonio or Texas. Can you guess whose name graced our barge?

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This is the Hilton Palacio del Rio...built very quickly in 1968 for Hemisfair in a most unique way. You must watch this video of how it was built. Each room was decorated and furnished, then lifted in place. Ta da! That's how you get the job done quickly for Hemisfair!

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Another angle of the Palacio del Rio.

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La Villita is  the original little town across from the Alamo where the Spanish soldiers and their families resided. This is the seating for the Arneson River Theater.

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Across the river from the seating is the Arneson River Theater. Nearby is one of those beautiful arched bridges named for Rosita Fernandez...she was a famous dancer. Her named graced our barge.

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I think this is the famous "Wedding Island."

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This is Big Red, otherwise known as the Bexar County Courthouse which was built in the 1890's. I have been called to jury duty there several times.

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This is the Tower Life building...era 1929...complete with gargoyles. Four hundred three feet is perfect for...flags! Stay tuned for oodles of flags, from American to Texan to...can you tell?

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Now can you tell? San Antonio is famous for flying the American flag (some are so large they rival that of Fort McHenry), the Texas flag, and even certain times of the year this other flag. Can you tell?

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Ah! Gilded Age building with gargoyles! I love the economy of this architecture as a homeschooler. When I lived in Texas, I didn't think I could afford to take my kids anywhere Gilded Age-ish like the East Coast is famous for. Nor did I think I could afford to take them to see any Medieval structures. So...I decided to wait until they were older, after we had studied the Medieval and the Gilded Age. But before that happened, we moved to Virginia. Since then we've visited many  Gilded Age buildings in the North East. We have also visited the National Cathedral which drips with Medieval gargoyles and such. So nowmy kids got to compare all of that with the Gilded Age architecture we have in San Antonio. I'd have loved to have had time to take  my kids to the Gilded Age hotels of San Antonio, like the Saint Anthony and the Gunther. But we were on a tight time schedule that day. In the morning my nephews had award ceremonies at their school, and then we were to have dinner at their house that evening, so we squeezed the Riverwalk in between.   

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Oh, here you go! My kids and I just went nuts taking pictures. The next had to be better than the last. We were careful not to rock the barge though! And can you tell what the black flag is?

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Ah, one of the many gargoyles.

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The Omni La Mansion del Rio...which drips with Old World charm.

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More of La Mansion del Rio.

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If this building looks completely two dimensional...that's because...of an optical illusion. It's actually wedge-shaped. Wish I could have gotten more angles of it. It was the tallest hospital in the US when it was built in 1931. It had everything: hospital beds, doctor offices, and even parking. Carol Burnett as well as Oliver North were born here. Originally called the Nix Hospital, it is now the Nix Professional Building.

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Want to do lunch overlooking these Texas flags?

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Or how about doing lunch under these Texas umbrellas?

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Choices, choices. Where to eat? We actually wanted to eat at Alamo Cafe...where a river runs through it...with great decor...and the absolute best quiet outdoor eating...with the water trickling by...oh did I mention the indoors has twinkling lights overhead...and the great Texas murals...and cheap and delicious eats! I highly recommend the chalupa plate. Do they still serve it? I don't know. We didn't have time to visit on this trip.

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The several flags of Texas, including France. Yes, France owned us for a very short time.

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The Tower of the Americas...lunch is too expensive there. However it is interesting because the floor spins, ever so slowly, for a 360 degree view of the city. I had wanted to take the kids here when we finished the Dialectic cycle of World History. Oh well. Maybe someday. There is an observation tower at the top, but having a meal there is kind of fun.

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So now we were off the barge and walking to lunch...

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The view from the top of one of those beautifully arched bridges. Which set of umbrellas should we eat under?

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Now can you tell what the black flag is for? The San Antonio Spurs! They are always flown when they are in Championship season...except they had lost the series by this point. They've won five championships, but only one of those have been won since we moved to Virginia. (I think they miss us.)

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Oh, how cute! Mamma duck and her babies!

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We ate at Casa Rio...it's the best price on the Riverwalk and the food is great. I ordered a Taco Salad because I haven't had a decent one in 8 years. Yum!!!! The shell was actually crispy! (Hint to Virginian restaurants: buy heat lamps to keep your chips, taco shells and taco bowls crispy and warm. I used to work at Tex Mex restaurants. I know. Also iceberg lettuce for taco salads. Romaine is for Caesar. ;)

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This duck was begging for food...

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...tugging at my skirt...

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...and begging some more.

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Casa Rio was the first restaurant on the Riverwalk. If we are going to eat on the river, this was always our go-to because is has the best price and the consistently best food. Service is always great.

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And that is the barge that we had ridden on.

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Ladybird Johnson named Rosita Fernandez, "San Antonio's First Lady of Song." She appeared in the 1960 movie, The Alamo, starring John Wayne. (I haven't seen that movie since I was a little girl. I'm going to have to watch it again and look for her.)

On the way home we drove by the Fairmont Hotel, which is just down the street from the Riverwalk. The Fairmont is another architectural feat. It was most carefully and cautiously moved five blocks in order to preserve this stunning Gilded Age hotel.

Resources:
Hilton Palacio del Rio-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t3-PeLcIYg
Rosita Fernandez-http://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu/exhibitions/past/Rosita-Fernandez.html
Rosita Fernandez-https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffe29
Fairmont Hotel-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oNEeULPs_Q&t=943s
Fairmont Hotel-http://www.thefairmounthotel-sanantonio.com/fairmount-san-antonio-history.php

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday Houses in Fredericksburg, Texas

One of the charms from Fredericksburg, Texas, was Sunday Houses. As a little girl the tradition was to make the drive from San Antonio for peaches. Out of that tradition came that of hunting for Sunday Houses. They have the unique feature of stairs on the outside of the house...like this:

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When the Germans settled the town of Fredericksburg in 1846, they brought many traditions with them, and that included town planning. In the European manner, the town was laid out as a farm village with the intent that the farmer would live in town and each morning they would journey to the pastures for the day's work. Although this is how the town was laid out, the settlers picked up the American habits of their neighbors by establishing a homestead on their farm. However the churches remained in town.

Wanting to attend church on Sunday, the farmers and their families began the tradition of Sunday Houses. On Saturday morning they would journey to town to stay in a Sunday House. While in town they'd sell produce, shop, carry on business, even attend a dance or other form of entertainment in the evening. They'd sleep in the Sunday House on Saturday night, and attend church in the morning.

It has always been my dream to spend the weekend in Fredericksburg, myself...to enjoy the town at a leisurely pace...to walk around and find the various Sunday Houses and collect photos. So far I've never been able to talk anyone to even walk around with me to take pictures. My only photos are the ones I've taken while a driver was zooming through town. I took this photo after a full day at the LBJ Ranch and the Wildseed Farm. And I don't recall if this is actually a Sunday House or a hotel built in the manner reminiscent of a Sunday House. However, we were zooming, so this was a quick catch with my camera. Perhaps one day a more leisurely day will come...

Resource:
Sunday Houses-https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/cfs01

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Then I Started Staycationing in Virginia...

So...my busy days have kept me from catching up on Texan stories. Already I'm beginning staycations in Virginia. Actually I had two grand opportunities last spring that I've yet to blog about. I'm quite thrilled that I began lessons in plein air painting!!! I've always wanted to add this to my historic interpretations.
Since coming home from Texas I've been unpacking, catching up with chores around the house and of course doing a lot of work with Convention of States, which has been grand.
I keep a computer version of a sticky note on my laptop where I list all the places we want to visit. Then each week we review and vote as a family where we go. I think it will be fun to catalogue here where we actually end up going. 
I'll bump this post with each new trip announcement. When the post is written they will become linked.

  •  Plein Air at the Old Stone Bridge, Manassas Battlefield-April 1
  • Plein Air and  Nature Journals at the Old Stone Bridge, Manassas Battlefield-May 9
  • British Invasion of Monticello-June 4
  • Arlington National Cemetery-June 11 
  • Horseback Riding in Shenandoah-June 18 
  • Culpeper where we ate at the Culpeper Cheese Company and then retrieved my quilt!-June 25  
  • A Day with the Colonial Williamsburg Milliners-June 28
  • Smithfield, Crabs, 17th century, and George Washington and Mason-July 2
  • Mary Washington House-July 9
  • Washington DC, Folger, Smithsonian Gardens-July 16
  • CFA Picnic Leesylvania State Park-July 23  
  • Lexington, VA-Sam Houston Birthplace, VMI, Washington and Lee Chapel, Moo Thru-July 30  
  • Kenmore Plantation...oh, the gorgeous plaster ceilingwork from the 18th century are to die for!!!!!-Aug 6 
  • Warrenton Walking Tour-Aug 13 
  • Middleburg Walking Tour-Aug 20
  • Hmmmm......

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Admiral Nimitz and the Nimitz Steamboat Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas

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The home of Admiral Chester Nimitz's early childhood has always been my favorite in all of Texas. In 1855 the admiral's grandfather opened the Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas. Over the years it grew in fame  due to its comfort, convenience, and notable visitors. The hotel registry included that of President Rutherford B. Hayes as well as Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant among many others.

But perhaps the most famous "guest" of all, for whom the hotel would forever be remembered, arrived on the 24th of February in 1885...the day a tiny baby named Chester was born. I'm sure Grandpa Charles Henry Nimitz was quite proud of his grandson. His son, Chester's father, had died 6 months earlier.

Captain Charles Henry Nimitz was a man who was also proud of the sea. Renown as the "master of the Texas tall-tale," he was a German-American who had served with the German navy when he was young. After settling Fredericksburg with others from Germany in 1846, he served in the Texas Rangers before buying the hotel. Apparently his love of the sea was never far from his memory. He infused his past into the architecture of the hotel.   

It is this part of the hotel that always beguiled my heart since I was a little girl...the steamboat feature that Grandpa Captain Nimitz added after 1888. It became known as the Nimitz Steamboat Hotel. 

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Despite the success of the hotel, there was not money enough to consider college for young Chester. However all that changed when Chester met some graduates of West Point. Inspired, Chester applied for a Congressional appointment, but there were no more openings at West Point. However, there were openings at the Naval Academy. Although Chester had never heard of the Naval Academy, he applied and was accepted...at 15 years of age, before completing high school. Apparently Nimitz didn't complete high school until after he retired from the Navy as Fleet Admiral.

Henry Fonda fabulously portrayed Admiral Nimitz, the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, in the famous movie, Midway. ( I do seem to recall that "Fredericksburg" was mentioned. And yes...we watched this movie a few days later on Memorial Day weekend.)

The hotel is now part of what I think is the best museum in Texas-the Admiral Nimitz Museum. Themed around WWII, they have stunning displays that remain in my memory. (I probably have lots of SLR photos to scan from years ago when we visited while studying WWII in our homeschool. One day I will scan those photos and blog about that visit.)

Well...no, we did not get to visit the hotel *this* day. Nor did we get to walk anywhere in town that day. My mom was in haste to get home. We had already conquered the LBJ Ranch and the Wildseed Farm. A rainstorm was on its way. Rush hour awaited in San Antonio. (Honestly, when people rolled their eyes that we were moving to Northern Virginia, 8 years ago, I laughed and said the traffic wouldn't be any different. Actually it is worse in San Antonio than it is in NoVA.)

The above photo is actually from December 2008. It is far better than any of the photos I attempted to take while my mom drove zoom, zoom, zoom through Fredericksburg. At least we got to drive by a favorite spot. In fact, since moving to NoVA we've toured the Naval Academy. You can check that out here. At the time we didn't know that Nimitz had attended there. If we had, we've have looked for him. Guess we need another trip.

Resources:
 Museum- http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/your-visit/admiral-nimitz-museum/
The Nimitz Hotel-https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccn01
Admiral Nimitz-http://www.militarymuseum.org/Nimitz.html
Captain Charles Henry Nimitz-https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fni04

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wildseed Farm

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After our visit to the LBJ Ranch we drove down the road to the Wildseed Farms...as per my daughter's request. This had always been one of her favorite places to visit when we lived in Texas. We all enjoy this lovely setting.

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They have a gift shop and nursery to buy plants. Oh how I wanted to shop for plants to bring home to Virginia. Alas...

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Then we walked through the fields of wildflowers. The actual purpose of the Wildseed Farm is to grow flowers to collect seeds to package and sell. Look at all the varieties you can purchase...that usually grow out in the fields throughout Texas every year.

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Afterwards we visited the gift shop...one of the best gift shops ever. I wanted everything bluebonnets, and more! I settled on some gorgeous bluebonnet place mats...as well as a package of bluebonnet seeds to take home. However they never made it back to Virginia. I think they never made it into my bag, even though my receipt shows I paid for them. (boo hoo)