Saturday, October 29, 2011


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Berkeley Bulldogs Field Hockey - W00T

Go Bulldogs!

I am so impressed!  My oldest, K, has had a great season with the Berkeley Bulldogs this fall.  She had fun last year too, but this year has been a whole 'bother ball game.  This year the team is being coached by Quan Nim.  Quan used to coach at William & Mary and she is a cofounder of Focus Field Hockey, which is an independent group of Field Hockey Players.  Quan has taken our girls very far in such a short time.

It was announced last week that they had made it to districts and last night we had the team over for their "pre game dinner" - crazy fun!

front door
Bitsy and MLyons getting their Bulldog on!

I cheated of course.  We ordered dinner from a local restaurant, Maurizio's.  Lasagna for the team, and spaghetti with "no meat" for us.  Plus dinner rolls and salad and I baked Engine 2 Diet brownies.  Oh to die for!

The girls had a blast, they pretty much demolished dinner and then disappeared into the basement to play rock band until nearly 8 o'clock.  By the time they'd all gone to bed last night they had posted tons of photos to Facebook, emailed or Facebooked me to say "Thank You" - very sweet. They were a blast to have over.

Today we played Page Middle School - which is all very confusing because Page Middle School was destroyed by a tornado (I think) and so they are sort of doubling up over at Peasley Middle School.  But I found it and got to watch a little bit of the first half and then 10 minutes of the second and then they called the game.  It was 7-0 Page and it was over.

I've never seen such a wildly happy bunch of girls after loosing a game.  They were cheering and they grabbed the assistant coach to throw Gatorade on her (I think she grabbed the cooler at the last second and dumped it on the goalie!)  and normally they all disperse after the game but today they all wanted to ride the bus back to their school together and they were ROWDY!

Awesome Season!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Megan McJames

Previously I posted a little something about "Out of Bounds" an album you can download to support members of the  USA Women's Alpine team, and in that post I mentioned that my husband's company is supporting two of those athletes this season.  One is Kiley Staples, I mentioned that, I wasn't sure who the other was.  Tim actually made it home from work tonight before I was asleep and was able to tell me that the other athlete is Megan McJames.
And I'm totally excited because she's a blogger. So here is her link, you can go check her out.  And wow, it looks like the season has started!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Jessie Costume

My Kids have unshakeable faith in my ability to produce Halloween Costumes.  It is sweet, but sometimes I feel the pressure just a bit.  Last year my MLyons wanted to be Jessie from the Toy Story Movies, but she didn't like the look of the shiny, one piece, costume in the catalog.  It didn't look Jessie to her.  And so, I decided to make her a Jessie Costume.  Luckily I was headed to Nevada so I stopped in a Sheplers while I was out there (a little more common in 'Vegas than in Williamsburg.)  I picked up a white rodeo styled shirt, a belt and a pair of wranglers and I lucked out because they were all on sale. Once home I went to the local fabric store for some dye and red trim.  I also picked up some costume fabric that could be "cow hide" or "Dalmatian fur" or "pony."  

Rodeo Shirt, Red Trim & Yellow Dye

Wrangler Jeans and some fake fur
I followed the directions on the dye and painted it on the cuffs, and the whatever you call that top part of the shirt.  A yoke? A collar?  Use gloves, dye can be a total mess if you aren't careful.  Then I used fabric glue and glued the red trim.  After it was dry I hand stitched it in a few spots just to give it a little extra hold.

The costume fabric I just sewed straight onto the jeans.  In pictures the Jessie doll's pants are just sort of attached like that so I followed the pictures.  Luckily we have a good supply of cowboy boots.  I spent my early childhood years in Oklahoma on a farm and simply think every kid ought to have a pair of boots to stomp around in.

I was able to find a Jessie hat online (after much searching) and it arrived the day before Halloween.  Here she is, finished product!  Her long hair is braided down the back with a yellow ribbon tied around the end.  Lucky kid, she won first prize in the Halloween contest.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn in Williamsburg

Governor's Palace, Williamsburg Virginia

Fall is beautiful in Williamsburg.  We are lucky have many crisp days with clear blue sky setting off our unique landscape.  And then the foliage starts to turn and we have glorious oranges and reds too.

Wishing you a Happy Fall from Williamsburg.  

Linking up to Blue Monday

Smiling Sally

Friday, October 21, 2011

4th grade science project: bubble gum

Last year I wrote about Tiger's science project with the mentos and coca-cola here.
It seems to have been well received as it has become my most frequently visited blog post.

This year Dragon is in 4th grade and we haven't gotten to the part of the year where he creates a science project, but in class they discussed a bubble gum project that sounded fun.  So we decided to give it a try at home:

the question: which kind of bubble gum makes the biggest bubble?

We went to the local CVS and picked out 4 kinds of bubble gum.

We invited two friends from MLyon's 1st grade over to help us.  With Tiger, Dragon & MLyons that made 5 different scientist helping with the project.
 Next step, make a guess (hypothesis) as to what you think will be the answer to the question.  Tiger & Dragon guessed that the Hubba Bubba Max would make the biggest bubbles.  C. L. and MLyons guessed that the Bubble Gum Tape would make the biggest bubbles.

We started with the Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape, everybody received a piece roughly 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.  It was decided that this was not enough gum to make a bubble with.  So they each received another piece.  We measured bubbles with string.

Then we tried the Hubba Bubba Max.  This is bubble gum, big easy bubbles.  Interestingly 1/2 of them like the taste of the tape better than the taste of the Max.

Then we tried the Orbitz.  Nobody liked the taste.  They all decided it tasted like medicine.  And nobody could blow bubbles.  Not even with two pieces in their mouth.

Last we tried the Trident Layers.  "WOW! This tastes awesome!" Exclaimed L.  A few small bubbles were blown but not many.

keeping track, we cut the measuring string and taped it flat

Conclusion: It was decided that the Max is best for blowing bubbles.  Our scientists were able to blow more bubbles, and bigger bubbles with the Hubba Bubba Max than with any of the other kinds of gum that we tried.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

USA SKI TEAM - Women's Alpine

So while I'm on a "pray for snow" kick...

My husband's company is helping sponsor two athletes on the USA SKI TEAM this year.  One is Kiley Staples.  I am actually not sure who the other is... but in the spirit of supporting the girls I wanted to share a fundraiser with you:

Five professional athletes need help to continue pursuing their dreams.Alpine skiers Megan McJames, Kiley Staples, Hailey Duke, Brooke Wales and Julia Ford.  Proceeds from the sale of the album "Out of Bounds" will help support these Athletes.

Alpine Support offered by Hope Alive Media

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ski Teaser from Summit Real Estate

in my email yesterday:

Happy Tuesday Morning to YOU!
Ready or not, here it comes!  A-Basin opened last week - after only being closed for 100 days!!!!  Keystone opens November 4 and Breck the week after.
Here's the scoop on Keystone (that's yours truly - Allison - with my daughter Mackenna- skiing in the ad!)
Pre-Ski Season Ski exercises.....  ;)
  1. Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freeze for a half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 dollar bills to warm up.
  2. Soak your gloves and store them in the freezer after every use.
  3. Fasten a small, wide rubber band around the top half of your head before you go to bed each night.
  4. If you wear glasses, begin wearing them with glue smeared on the lenses.
  5. Throw away a hundred-dollar bill now.
  6. Find the nearest ice rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car. Sporadically drop things.
  7. Place a small but angular pebble in your shoes, line them with crushed ice, and then tighten a C-clamp around your toes.
  8. Buy a new pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.
  9. Secure one of your ankles to a bedpost and ask a friend to run into you at high speed.
  10. Go to McDonald’s and insist on paying $13.50 for a hamburger. Be sure you are in the longest line.
  11. Clip a lift ticket to the zipper of your jacket and ride a motorcycle fast enough to make the ticket lacerate your face.
  12. Drive slowly for five hours- anywhere- as long as it’s in a snowstorm and you’re following an 18-wheeler.
  13. Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. Leave the ice on your face until it melts. Let it drip into your clothes.
  14. Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off because you have to go to the bathroom.
  15. Slam your thumb in a car door. Don’t go see a doctor.
  16. Repeat all of the above every Saturday and Sunday until it’s time for the real thing.
See you on the slopes!

If you aren't a skier all of the above is likely to keep you home this winter.  (and that'll keep you from clogging up my lifeline !Ha!)  But if you are a skier, this just makes you antsy in anticipation.  I had contacted Summit Real Estate a few years ago when living in Summit County (right there next to Keystone, or Breckenridge, or even Copper) looked like an option. *sigh* and then we were thrown a curveball, and have been waiting it out.  Ski season won't hit here for maybe 2 1/2, 3 months and then it will be over 2 months later.  So this makes me look in the mirror and ask "why? do I live in Virginia again? why?"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Magnetic Nail Polish

Vogue, October 2011
Okay, I just spent 5 minutes on google trying "Vogue Nail Polish" "Vogue Laws of Attraction" "Vogue Magnetic Nail Polish" and can't find a link to this article and so... go find a magazine.

I love this image.  I love the metallic nails and all the big bracelets (not so much the fork and the key stuck to the magnet but for photography purposes, yes, they work)

This photo prompted a wonderful discussion with my 13 year old daughter.  Am I too old to wear metallic nail polish and enough metal to protect my arm from being blistered by a bow (as in bow and arrow) not that I am likely to shoot one any time soon.  And my daughter answered, "do it mom! it would be so cool!"

And randomly the topic came up again with MY mom, who is actually pretty young, she turns 60 in the coming months.  And she looked at me and said "really?  your self image is old?"

Which made me feel silly, but um yeah.  I feel pretty old.  I mean, I'm 40 in 2 months.  And I'm exhausted - and frumpy.  Which is why I get Vogue to begin with.  It pushes me out of my "stained t-shirt and dirty jeans" mode and forces me to do my hair and have my face waxed and dig until I find a clean, if wrinkled, t shirt.

And so - I have googled "trafalgar square nails inc use" and it seems Amazon sells it.  YES! And I admit, $16 nail polish is likely a lot less than 6 inches worth of bracelets- but I'm going to feel so snazzy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thor - the movie. really?

Needed a diversion last night to slow my brain down so I could sleep, so we opted for a movie and watched "Thor"

I'm so disappointed.

It had great "tomato" ratings and like 4 stars.
maybe I'm not a comic book person?
but come on!
Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, and for crying out loud Kenneth Branagh and THAT was the best they could do?  (I will leave Chris Hemsworth out of this because I don't know anything about him.)
I'm completely disappointed.
Thor, wether its a comic book story or not, is such rich material of legend and lightening and thunder and the Nordic culture... I was hoping for so much more.  This was shallow and obvious.  Kenneth Branagh "shallow?"  But it was, sigh.

Despite being disappointed, I did think that the "watcher" (Heimdall) was well played.  His voice, costume, ember eyes, character - he was well done.  I googled it to find out who played it and apparently casting Idris Elba as Heimdall was controversial.  Fans of Thor say that Heimdall was known as the "whitest of gods" and all I can think is seriously?  One it is called "artistic license" and two Idris was fabulous and I wish his character had a bigger role.

The set design was lovely as well.  And of course they probably blew the entire budget on special effects.

But honestly, I can't believe we paid $5 to rent it from iTunes, I wish we had waited for it to be on Netflix so it could have been free.  And Natalie Portman! Did she loose a bet?  Owe someone a favor?  My husband thinks it is hilariously funny that I am so disappointed in her for being in this movie but that character could have been played by any pretty face, and Natalie is such a good actress.  Maybe she just wanted a break from all her serious roles, but 
okay. I'll let it go now.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pink Post Card Collages

Pink Saturdays...
I have been trying. Really.  I have.
Today is Sunday the 9th, and yesterday I was driving Tiger to Richmond to play in a tournament.  I was up at 6:30 to get him, Bitsy and Little Hawk into the car... we had a 9:10 game which mean we need to be on the field at 8:30 for warm ups... and then we had a 3:30 game so we got home late-ish though while Bitsy and Little Hawk were in the bath I did do some collage work.  Actually Friday during the day I tried to do some collage work with Bitsy but didn't finish...

So I"m posting them here, a week later, and they aren't much.  I have to say... I have these ideas about Gaia (I've been reading Riodan again) and although my Gaia is more the yoga one instead of the evil earth/dirt mound that he describes, I can't quite get her to sit still and show up on the page.

instead I ended up being seduced by paint:

do you see the circles of glossy paint?  the rich out of the can color and the glossy ness of it, its like brand new lipstick, or nail polish... if I didn't have to worry about a kids budget my entire bathroom would be full of brand new lipsticks and nail polishes, I love the richness...

instead the sand pulled me in the direction of sand castles and fairy tales and little girl's day dreams... the little bottles say "believe" and "fairy dust" how sweet!

last week I tried to pull off a little collage and found myself wrapped up in images from the west elm catalog...

how wonderfully cozy is that? ahh... one day I shall have a house with a room full of books and comfy reading spots and fabulous tea cups...

I am linking this to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Orange Day & Shampoo

Orange day Fiasco?

Yesterday -

in the morning between putting elementary school children onto the bus and buckling preschool children into the car - I like a cup of coffee and some "me" time - which means 5 to 20 minutes (depending on the morning) of Facebook and blogging and maybe if I'm feeling really productive actually checking the twitter & email for work...

And I must have gotten into it yesterday because time got away from me and I realized suddenly that I was going to be late with the preschoolers and that mattered because I had duty as Mother's Day Out "mommy helper" and we were out of juice.  Oh dear.

It was orange day in Bitsy's class and off I went to find a bow to go along with the pink and orange dress she was sporting:

How totally pleased with herself is she? 

note the bow.  Bitsy does like accessories... see? She added a bracelet too (okay its a hair tie but she decided today it was a bracelet)

And we finish up the hair and I grab a shirt to get little Hawk dressed and oh dear... He has decided to shampoo...

I take a big breath and I'm thinking OMG! but really, at least he didn't drink it right?  And it is my fault for leaving the shampoo out by the tub.  But I've got 10 minutes to be there and I've got to do something about this mess.  I start towards the tub and realize, "I need a picture so I can blog about this later" (demented?) and then realize that in 10 minutes I cannot get the little Hawk cleaned and dressed, drive Bitsy to preschool, stop and get juice, and drive to Mother's Day Out.  Nope, not gonna happen.

So... I call over to my husband's office.  His personal assistant (who actually got promoted and I am not sure she is still his personal assistant anymore...) spends part of her week at my house "um, C, can you come over and take Bitsy to school please? Little Hawk just shampooed himself and I need to clean him up and dress him..."  She giggles and says "I'm on my way!"

Thank goodness!

We get to Mother's Day Out at 9:35.  (35 minutes late)

And the rest of the day is actually a good day

Vegetable Chili

This is an old recipe out of the book "Eating Well! When You Just Can't Eat the Way You Used To" by Jane Weston Wilson

I used to make it in Wisconsin a lot.  This week I used the actual recipe as inspiration and sort of made up my own- with a mixed bean base and some roasted egg plant thrown into the mix.  I omitted the butter and oil of course to keep it Esselstyn Friendly.

Vegetable Chili

1 TBS butter
1 TBS oil
1 TBS chili powder
1 TBS ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
3 medium size garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 carrots peeled and cut, 1 inch thick pieces
5 celery stalks, cut 1 inch thick pieces
4 ounces green beans trimmed & halved
1 large sweet red pepper, sliced to 1/2 inch side slices & halved
1 large sweet green pepper, sliced to 1/2 inch slices & halved
2 medium yellow onions, peeled & cut lengthwise into 1/2 thick slices
1 can (16 oz) tomatoes, keep liquid
1 medium zucchini trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 medium yellow squash, 1/2 inch slices
1 can (16 oz) kidney beans
1 can (8 oz) was beans

heat butter & oil and sauté seasonings 1 minute, then add garlic and sauté 2 to  minutes

add carrots, celery, green beans, reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, 10 minutes

add peppers, onions, 1 cup tomatoes & cook covered, 10 minutes

add zucchini, yellow squash, and remaining tomatoes & liquid and cook 5 minutes

add kidney beans, wax beans and cook covered 5 minutes

serve hot or cool and either freeze or refrigerate

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

popcorn, boyscouts, helpin' out

my nephew's scout troop is raising funds through popcorn sales. If you enjoy popcorn and don't have a local scout to support, please consider helping Blaine.

Monday, October 10, 2011

catching up, catching my breath

This post is for M - who won't read it because she's too busy and one day she'll do a Cailin's blog catch up (and just how cool is it that she does that? and then she tells me?!) but it won't be till Christmas and there will be way to much to catch up with by then


This weekend was great.  We had sun and decently warm weather.  I was able to drive up to the soccer tournament in Richmond without incident, I took Bitsy and little Hawk as Tim had "work around the house" {note, when dad's watch soccer they do that, watch soccer.  When mum's watch soccer they show up with the entire brood, drinks, snacks, diapers, toys, etc.  Its a full Bedouin expedition.}
Tiger's game was at 9 which meant we were there by 8:30 - AM.  Tiger's first half was awesome, the kid can run, and as he plays midfield he does a lot of running.  He had some wonderful break aways up the side and I was very proud.  His second 1/2 was alright but not stellar.  Then we had a long break and a game at 3:30.  The team caught lunch together at a pizza joint- coach came along which should have been nice but it was a little odd.  He tends to keep his distance from the parents, I don't know if he is just a quiet guy or if over the years he has found that is a better way to handle things.  I could imagine that getting friendly with parents and then cutting their son at the next tryout could be a little dicey.  I had a caesar salad and fully enjoyed the "cheat" - oil based salad dressing - I couldn't shove it in my mouth fast enough!

Our second game was better.  The boys were hot, and on their game.  It was fun to watch them play together as a team and work the ball.  The boys have learned in previous tournaments that number of goals can be a deciding factor so they won, 7 to 1.  I felt sorry for the other goalie, but as I've said, they've learned to show no mercy.

Sunday, we were back up bright and early.  We'd made it to second place and had to play at 8:30 AM which meant arrival at the field at 7:45.  GOOD GRIEF!

The game was something else.  Their coach was something else, and they had this red headed kid on the team that was insane and our side was ready to start a betting pool, which one would have a heart attack first.  The coach never shut up and he never said anything useful "get rid of it" "out" and "please play soccer" are prime examples of what he was yelling from the side.  Oh and then there was some poor kid named Michael "run Michael" "Michael why are you walking?" "Michael now you are moping" - RF's dad on our side was ready to adopt Michael and take him home.  He kept muttering "again with the Michael, leave Michael alone!"  I wish we could say we won.  But they got a lucky goal in the last 2 minutes of the game and beat us 2 to 1.  Our boys played great, they played better than great, they played their hearts out.  It was a tough game.  From the get go the ref let them know he wasn't calling fouls unless they were really obvious, two boys coming in fast shoulder to shoulder and one goes flying "play on."  Tiger does just fine under those conditions.  He is my son after all.

But he took the cake when we were walking to the car after the game and he said, "um mom?  I think somebody bit me"

WHAT?  There is no biting is soccer.  He showed me his arm.  It does look like a bite.

Who?  He grinned, "I don't know.  I went for the ball and the other guy fell and then I felt my arm hurt and looked down and it was a kid in black but we were still tied and I had the ball so I wasn't going to worry about it.  It kind of hurts though."

And then about 30 minutes later, "mom, it hurts a lot."

So... we washed it out really good with peroxide just in case, you know, like if the kid has rabies or something.

And yes M, I know, I said I'd send the email and get the girls together but here is the thing:

I've become a car mom. really.  I mean I have had a minivan ever since Isabel crushed my volvo (I loved my volvo) but now I live in it.
at 8 AM the big kids get on the bus, at 9 AM I drop off Bitsy at school, on Mondays & Wednesdays I drive Little Hawk on over to his playgroup, we are back in the car to pick up Bitsy at noon, and then there is ballet at 1:30 on Mondays and on Tuesdays we drive to gymnastics at 1, and on Mondays and Wednesdays we drive to the field hockey game at 4:30 (but today we get a break) and then Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays we drive Tiger to soccer at 5:30 and on Mondays we take Dragon to TaeKwonDo at 6, Wednesdays and Fridays I have someone to drive Tiger & Dragon to Taekwondo so its an easy night.  But Thursday is solid too - because M has ballet at 4:30.  block it out.  I live in the car.
Try eating vegan on this timeline.  It is insane.  I fall into bed absolutely fried at 10 PM and don't even mention laundry.

Monday Morning, Coffee & a Book - The Son of Neptune

last week I was shopping for something at Walmart and on a whim decided to see if they had the newly released book, The Son of Neptune.  I knew it had been released because I'd gotten an email about it from one of the book chains, Barnes & Nobles maybe?  Walmart did have it, so I picked it up, $13 and change at Walmart, the email had offered it for $11


I'd picked up my son's copy of "The Lost Hero" this summer and I'd loved it.  I like Riordan's writing style, a lot.  I am usually a book snob and there are plenty of books that I pick up and cannot finish.  (for example:  one of my daughter's friends really likes T.A. Barron, I've tried to read them and I can't.)  I love that Riodan plays off of classics, and reinterprets them but keeps the classic characters true to their nature. The stories make sense from that perspective.  I love that his characters are complicated, they contradict themselves and Riodan knows it, calls them on it and lets them be human (or not) and work it out and deal with the consequences.  So I had put down The Lost Hero and immediately googled the series to see if the next one was out... and found that it wasn't but would be soon.  And then the emails came and so I was on the lookout-

I spent all day Thursday reading.  I took Bitsy and the Little Hawk up to the plantation and let them picnic and I read.  Glorious.

And I loved the book.

(I was delighted to see Percy again, I was also more than happy to willingly comply with the need to hate Octavian.  Seriously - he brutalizes Teddy Bears.  And I have a soft spot for Hazel.  I hope the next book is nice to her.)

And I can't believe I have to wait a whole year for the next one.

Oh, and I DID let my son take it to school today so he could start reading it.  *grin*

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Stuffed Pumpkin

I first fell in love with sugar pumpkins as a food in Sante Fe at Cafe Pasqual's.  I ordered "Sugar Pumpkins Filled with Vegetable Stew in Chipotle Cream Sauce."  We ate at Cafe Pasqual's every night of our visit to Santa Fe after that, a violation of my personal rule that one must eat at as many local (non chain) places as possible when visiting new locations.  And we bought the cook book: "Cooking With Cafe Pasqual's"by Katherine Kagel which I highly recommend... (unless you are vegan. then you have to modify everything. but I bought it way back before Tim radically altered the household diet)

This week I did not make my favorite pumpkin recipe.  Instead I substituted pumpkin for acorn squash in a recipe called: Stuffed Acorn Squash out of the book "Recipes for Life" by Rhonda J Malkmus.

Modified Recipe:

Serves 2 to 4 people depending on the size of the serving

1/2 cup raisins
2 apples
4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup celery
1-2 tsp sage
1 1/2 cup cubed whole grain bread, slightly toasted

cook pumpkin (preheat 350, cut off top like you are making a jack o lantern, scoop out seeds) put pumping in a roasting pan and fill the pumpkin to 2/3 full with water.  Add water outside pumpkin, pumpkin should sit in 1 inch of water.  Cover and bake for 60 minutes or until flesh is tender.

In water, sauté onion for 3 minutes, add celery and garlic and cook until tender, add apples and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to large mixing bowl and mix bread, sage and raisins.  Stuff pumpkin with stuffing mixture and return to oven for about 10 minutes.  Serve with rice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

building, taken over by vines

just there, on the side of the road in the orchard

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bentley Manor Inn, Williamsburg

Williamsburg has a selection of charming bed & breakfast inns.  I love that Rte 60 and Jamestown Rd are generously dotted with them.  The colonial style buildings with cottage gardens add a charm and a certain quaintness to this ever evolving town.

On Monday Bitsy takes ballet and I was out walking in the area while she was in class and came upon Bentley Manor Inn.  It is tucked into a bit of a neighborhood, just off of Rte 60 but not actually on the road, so it is quieter.  And yet it backs right up to college property, so if a guest was visiting a student, or attending a football or basketball game they'd be in close proximity.

And they had the front door open, with just the glass door keeping the cold out, and the little light on just inside.  Isn't it inviting?

I found myself charmed and went off to look them up.  Bentley Manor Inn  (click on that link there to get to the home page) On the web site they have photos of all the rooms, as well as rates of course, and there is even a link for last minute rate deals.  If I were a William & Mary Alum looking to visit Williamsburg and catch a football game, I'd check this place out.  I'm currently trying to come up with an excuse for why I need to stay here for an overnight.  Can you here the wheels turning in my head?  I'd love to for my Anniversary, but that is during ski season and my love with have our young ones up at Wintergreen.  I'm sure I'll think of something.

I'm linking this to A Southern Day Dreamer's Outdoor Wednesday link-up

Monday, October 3, 2011


Waiting, patient as ever.  This dog is my guardian angel on earth.  He was calm as a puppy and has grown up to be 105 lbs of sweet, gentleness covered in soft touchable fur.  He loves a good walk, adores to wrestle, thinks hide and seek is an awesome game but is just as happy sitting at my feet providing me with the gentle calming rhythm of his breathing.  He pulled me through a horribly difficult time two years ago.  And here he is last weekend hanging out in the car.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

apple picking!

Saturday we went apple picking!  We drove about 2 hours north/west to Charlottesville area to Carter Mountain Orchard.  Holy Cow!  This place is on the top of a little mountain overlooking Charlottesville, the scenery is just - wow.  And the weather gave us a bonus, it dropped from 80 degrees fahrenheit  to 60 something, with a bit of a breeze.  Perfect fall day.

Initially I was worried it was something of a bust, note the apples are rather high!

all the low ones were picked!

but we ventured deeper into the grove and finally came upon some trees that had apples knee high!  Perfect for a 4 year old!  (especially a rather petite 4 year old)

Jonagold's ready for picking

Dragon found three the perfect size for lunches, and of course taste tested one to be sure they were "ready"

Tim felt it was important to see how many we had and more important to assess whether we'd be able to haul them all back to where we weigh them & pay for them

We came home with a car load of apples.  We plan to eat plenty, bake up plenty and turn plenty into apple sauce and apple juice.  Today we had 'em as a topping on oatmeal, as apple sauce with our lunch, and they are in the stuffed squash recipe we are having for dinner.

even my dog got to go, it was a long ride but he loved being part of the family.  Much better than being home by himself all day.