Archive for the ‘Virginia’ Category

Girls gone Wild- Shenandoah

Saturday, August 8th, 2009
Where did this come from? And why?

Where did this come from? And why?

Cross my heart, we did not buy this! So why is it in the house?

Well, b/c the mater was attempting to corner the VA market in brass candlesticks. After negotiating $10 for 14 of them, she saw more in a basket. It was near the end of the day, so the gal said, “Give me a dollar, and take the whole thing.”

So, after having spent a good 10 hrs stopping at one sale after another, eating weird Chinese food at a mall, and sundaes @ a frozen kustard stand, we unpacked, and the little hussy had included all kinds of weird, unsalable things in the basket. Of which Ms Chicken is prime exhibit #1. Do you want to hear about the chipped statuette of a person of unresolved gender preference? Or perhaps the bookend depicting equine/canine inappropriate behavior?

What I’d like to know is:

  1. Who came up with these ideas?
  2. Who bought them in the first place?
  3. How the heck do we get rid of them?

At any rate, we did get a whole lot of good stuff. Brass candlesticks, natch. A parisian dress pour moi. Several books we hadn’t read. Lots of canisters for all the bizarre non-flour flour substitiutes the gluten-intolerant require.

And three copies of a CD by an obsure Bluegrass band. WTF?

Next stop, Rio Mall… but first a quick trip to the dump, in the dead of night.

Star Tannery

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
Star Tannery Carnival

Star Tannery Carnival

So, last night’s entertainment was to go to Star Tannery, for the annual Firefighters’ Carnival & BBQ. Star Tannery is a little town up in the mountains, where the mater has owned property for over 20 yrs.

Star Tannery is one of those little places that almost nob0dy knows about, except the ppl that live there. And those people love it w/a passion. The same creek (Cedar Creek) that runs thru the farm here, starts up there.

Star Tannery has had various industries since the Civil War, & has a tradition of both parents being employed. First a tannery (duh) for the hides that made shoes for Star Shoes of Baltimore, MD. Then chicken farms to supply food for WWII, then clothing factories. Now, it’s kind of forgotten, except by folks who’ve struggled by for several generations (and newcomers, who’ve had 2nd homes there, from DC). (more…)

Invasion of the Hite-Bowman Clan

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Whew! One of the downsides of living on a historic property is that all the descendents think they need to revisit their roots.

The guy (Isaac Bowman) who built this house in 1812 had 80 grandchildren. So you can imagine, when they have their reunion every two yrs, how many people show up.  (And this is VA, where every conversation starts w/a pedigree.) The other local properties are handled by foundations & the commonwealth of Virginia.

Until this yr, Mt Pleasant has not been on the tour, for various reasons. But we decided this yr to allow them in. Thank goodness for cousin R.U. (Edward  Randolph Underwood) who directed parking, and friends M & S who handled the upstairs. The mater handled gardens & I did downstairs.  There were Hite-Bowmans from all corners of the earth. One had even written a book.

We were working until wee hours getting the house in order. I spent the day pointing out mantels and elbow-latches & the original hearth. Oy, I don’t have much in common w/British royalty, but one day of ppl traipsing thru the house, pointing out woodwork just about did me in. I don’t know how they do it. I wonder how many B-H’s will return home, discussing the Brad room, the Martha room & how to get heartwood pine floors.

And then in the last group, someone asked me if we were open every weekend. FREAK OUT does not cover it. “This is not a museum. We LIVE here. It’s a working farm!  We opened the house to descendents who had legitimate interest, but the next public access will be sheepdog trials in November. That will be the grounds, NOT the house.” I’m sure one of the Hite-Bowmans caught my panic, b/c he very seriously thanked me for allowing them access.

The funniest thing is that we really are FFV (First Families of Virginia); my mother is a Randolph. But we have absolutely no connection with Bowman/Hites, beyond owning their house. (Except that I think one of my Beatty forebears fought in the same unit in the Revolutionary War. See, I’ve caught Virginia fever.)

So now it’s back to normal, after I pour myself a very, very  stiff Screwdriver to savor on the screen porch & watch the rain pour down. And then start blanching beans.

Field trip (ha!)

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Dayton Farmers Market

Dayton Farmers Market

Well, I was getting a bit restless again, so Friday we (Mom & I) decided to take a little jaunt down to Dayton Farmers Market, south of Harrisonburg.  (She got a taste of what my little jaunts are like and was still recovering the next day. I think I need to find a new co-conspirator.)

Anyway, we fed all the livestock (8 cats & a dog) and took off about 10 on Friday morning w/a full tank of gas & Pete’s CD playing.

After we passed Luray, VA, we were in new territory for me, so I was oohing & ahing all over the place. Really liked what I saw of Harrisonburg, which is home to James Madison University and also Eastern Mennonite University.

Then we saw what Mom remembered as a really super thrift shop. She was right, so we spent about an hour there. I finally found the step basket I’d been wanting for a LOOONG time. (It’s a basket made to sit on steps. Very cool. I’m always setting things on the stairs so that I don’t forget to take them up or down. Now it looks nice, instead of trashy.)

Sooo… On we went to Dayton. Really liked the Farmers Market, although it was not exactly a farmers market. More like a collection of cool little shops.  (For more info, click the picture above.) We spent a couple hours there, b/c once again, I had to touch everything. (Maybe Hanuman should be my shopping buddy. Just a suggestion.) And then, we found an espresso stand there. So of course I was happy, but mater had had nothing to eat since about 10 AM & was not looking so hot. (more…)