Friday, July 19, 2019

Key Largo

Right outside my door this morning...the Atlantic Ocean.

Have a wonderful weekend! Stay safe...and hydrated!!!

Enjoy the day,

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Keeping Busy

Hello, friends! I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July. We had a nice family day which included a trip to Hobby Lobby, hotdogs, red, white and blue glow sticks and watching the fireworks on t.v....the only way to do it in steamy, buggy Florida. 

I cannot get this pic to stay rotated! I found this pillow to hold all the pins we have collected on our trips. It's a neutral feed sack type material.

It was fun remembering all our adventures as I pinned them on. I mentioned this project in my last post and was glad to finally get it done. Now we can remember everyday.


I have been working on His Eye is on the Sparrow a little...not enough to post much progress. 

I have been journaling a lot. Does anyone else do this?

This is the insert to my Traveler's Journal that I am using to document our recent trip to D.C. This section...signature...slips into a leather cover. There are a couple of signatures in my journal...each with it's own subject or use...maybe a calendar of events or a list of things to do. 
The sweet girl was drawn by an artist I ordered from on Etsy...she was on the box. Now, she is with me on my travels.

I keep it simple so Annie can read it and enjoy. When I was teaching, my classroom was my canvas. Now I play with paper.

This journal is more of a visual remembrance of each day, than a record. I am also working on a larger more detailed journal of our trip. That journal will be full of facts and events from our days. 
I save every piece of paper from our trips...receipts, maps, brochures, tickets. They all go in a box and are pulled out when I'm ready to make the journal of that trip. Those details will be included in the large journal.

This small travel journal slips into my purse or tote.

Love this tartan paper on the Alexandria page. Alexandria has a sister city in Scotland and has a definite Scottish influence.

Vintage stamps are one of my favorite embellishments I use in my journals...and this one is perfect! 

I also keep a Gratitude Journal. I don't get to it everyday, but I try. If I skip a day or two it's o.k. I like to scribble out a page pretty fast and get on with the day.

I'm not an artist...I rely on stamps for this journal...but I like to doodle while remembering how fortunate I am. 

I am not the first in my family to save paper ephemera. I have my father's letters to my mother from WWII. I have holy cards given to my father by nuns when he was in elementary school. I have the snip of a note Sister Mary Edward wrote in my planbook after she reviewed my lessons for the week..."Congratulations on your engagement!" it reads. I've saved paper for a very long time!

Do you keep a Gratitude Journal? Do you document your memories? Are you a "paper hound" like me?


My summer reading is The British are Coming by Rick Atkinson. It is the first book in a trilogy the author is writing about the American Revolution. I can't seem to get enough history of that time in our nation! It's the most detailed account I have read of all it took to make us a free country. Just finished the battles of Lexington and Concord and learned things I never knew...always good!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer! 

Enjoy the day,

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Hello, friends. We are back from a trip to Palm Beach and a few nights at The Breakers. Always fun to see our Board of Governors family and have a peek at the Atlantic. We begin our fifteenth year on the board next years!

Annie and I are in full summer mode. We've been pulling out some red, white and blue and some of our special friends.

The vintage postcard above was a lucky find. 

She's currently waving her flag on our tea table in the living room. Behind her, on the back of the sofa, is a wonderful hooked rug hooked by Kelley from With Hook and Needle blog. The colors in this rug are perfect!

George Washington...our favorite patriot...the father of our country...a fellow Virginian. 

Another of our favorite founding fathers can be seen on the sideboard in the background.

Benjamin Franklin...sharing a pot of tea with our Agnes.

In the kitchen, the girls are all about flag waving. We are still working on this display...but it's off to a fun start.

Are you in summer mode? Are you bringing out the red, white and blue?

We have a few more friends to add to our summer decor. We'll keep you posted.

The patriots that founded our country were men of courage...true patriots. They risked everything for freedom and liberty. Thirteen colonies...each different from the other...united for the common good. 

Enjoy the day,

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

Farewell D.C...and goodies

We left D.C. at the crack of dawn...literally. I snapped this pic as we waited for the valet to bring our car. Beautiful city, our nation's photogenic!

This is what we look like when we travel. Mr.MW...always the same attire, wishing he could get his sixteen mile run in before getting behind the wheel. Annie...wanting to be fed and looking forward to going back to sleep in her nest in the backseat. Me...showered, but with no make-up and no hair combed. I'd been packing since 2:30 a.m. and making Annie's breakfast (ham sandwiches, applesauce and juice). Ready to serve as navigator for the next 938 miles and looking forward to some time on my heated car seat. 

The bellman offered to take our pic...and being semi coherent...I complied. One tired momma, here.

An early morning wink from Annie.

Good-bye, Thomas...and George. Your monuments are so special!

Good-bye, Pentagon! 

 The previous day we snapped a couple of pics...outside The Willard...

...and inside The Willard. In bowling, this would be called a"split". In photography, it's called..."Let's go home...enough already!"

The sign above me is for the famous Round Robin'll have to take my word for it.


Annie likes socks so her haul included three pairs purchased at the Capitol gift shop...

and a pair from The Willard gift shop. The background is actually the official 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival market bag...and the official pin. Annie is very specific when she shops. She asked for the socks and the bag...I threw in the pin for my collection.

Annie also likes pencils....she already had the red sparkly one out and in use when I took this pic.
Flag pin from Capitol...had to! We also grab a canvas W.F. bag when we travel. We have them from Chicago, Philadelphia, South Beach, Nashville, Tallahassee, etc and we use them!!!

Annie also scored a sweatshirt from Alexandria and a nice long sleeved tee.

My birthday gifts came from Mount Vernon. This beautiful silk scarf is the pattern from the ceiling in the dining room. I love scarves! Can you see the farming tools on the white background? Love it! The tiny tobacco jar is an ornament. 

These two Mottahedeh dishes have sayings by George himself on them. I collect these little coin plates when I go to historical cities. 

Of course, I can't come home without a book. This gem is about a wonderful Virginia artist by the name of Virginia Jacobs McLaughlin. She is "an itinerant painter" who paints beautiful murals on the walls of historic buildings...and some not so historic. It is filled with her gorgeous work. I don't want to infringe on any copyright so, again, you will have to take my word on the beauty inside these covers.

I have collected pins from all our travels. Here I added several...Ford's Theater,  the Capitol and a few museums. I use to pin them on my rug hooking snips bag but they are too many now. I need a new place to pin them so we can see them and remember all the places we've been. Any ideas...novel or otherwise.

And silly as it sounds, I was delighted to bring home not one, but two cans of my favorite furniture polish. Silly? I love this stuff! I can find it on line but you pay more in postage than for the polish. Something I will not be a party to.

There you go USPS...two for less than one plus postage!

Should last me the duration.


That concludes the tales of our trip to Washington, D.C. It was wonderful...and beyond tiring. It is the  longest trip I've taken since fighting multiple autoimmune ailments. I did better than I expected. But, I ate things I should not and pushed the limits. That's what a vacation is all about, right? 

Today I'm back on more sugar ( swan song was French silk pie on Easter) or wheat...only a bit of caffeine. 

Oh...if you see Annie don't mention the "pat down" she got before going into the Capitol. A female member of the Capitol Police removed her blanket from her legs, went over her with a wand and then patted her down. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate their efforts to keep us safe...pat my kid down all you need to...but be prepared for whatever said kid has to say about's possible it might contain some expletives. Luckily, the officer did a terrific job and Annie kept saying, "I'm fine, I'm fine." and told the woman, "I don't have anything." They are on the job at The Capitol!


Enjoy the day,

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter

Happy Easter from the House of Mugwump...and Aunt Agnes!

The Easter Bunny ate all the carrots and drank the juice Annie left out for him!

My grandmother was a china painter and several of her pieces are in lovely Easter colors like the robin's egg blue vase and egg. I always show Annie the signature of her great grandmother on the bottom of these special pieces.

German bunnies and German eggs

Have a wonderful blessed day with family and friends! Eat some chocolate! I had French Silk Pie for breakfast with my bad, and yet so very good!

Enjoy the day,

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame

Stone carved statue in the National Cathedral
Washington, D.C.

My heart was breaking as I watched the flames rise from the Cathedral of Notre Dame yesterday. Having had such a moving visit to the National Cathedral in D.C. recently, I am so very sad to see such beauty destroyed. 

I was awed by the magnificence of Notre Dame at the age of twenty one. The Rose Windows were works of art, as well as works of devotion. The beauty...made by the hands of men...was beyond description with words. The centuries old wood was gorgeous. 

As I said here after our visit to the cathedral in D.C., it is beyond a spiritual experience. It is a monument of hope. It is a vessel of devotion. It is a testament of faith. It is a source of serenity and solace for those who seek comfort within it's walls. Notre Dame was all these things, and more. I hope it will be again.

 I am so grateful to have had that experience...seeing Notre many years ago.
I like visiting churches...and lighting candles. It's not so much a religious thing as a spiritual thing. I like that these houses of worship can unite us, even as they lay in rubble and ash.

What a painful day yesterday.

Enjoy the day,

Friday, April 12, 2019

Days 4 & 5

Are you still with me? 

Mid week we moved from the Residence Inn in Alexandria to The Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue to meet up with our Board of Governors family. We stayed in this historic hotel when we visited D.C. with the BOG in 2008. You can see the White House from here, and the Mall and all the museums and the Capitol are within walking distance.
 This hotel has had many famous patrons...including Lincoln...and is where the term "lobbying" came to be. Going back to 1850 power brokers met here, in the lobby, to wheel and deal. The term lobbying became synonymous with The Willard. 

By the time we were settled into our new digs, it was early afternoon. We headed for The Mall. We decided to try and get into the new African American Museum. Last time we were here we visited the Native American Museum, also new at that time. We really enjoyed the Native American Museum. Highly recommend it!

We were lucky and had only a short wait.

This museum is informative and important. It is also physically demanding. You descend a quarter of a mile...three stories...underground in an elevator the size of a room...a packed with people elevator. 

It opens into a very low ceiling room which is very dark. The exhibits are plentiful and there is a lot to read. Photography is difficult. I took very few pics as I was busy reading and moving with the crowd. 

As you move through the exhibit areas you come to ramps that take you to the next level. The ramps are steep. This museum takes a lot of energy. 

Finally...somebody she recognizes!

When you reach the current era, you have walked a couple of miles. And, symbolically, you have risen from the dark...enclosed...into the open light.
It's a moving experience. 

We walked up The Mall to the Museum of American History. This museum does not look at all like the same museum I visited as a child, or that we visited a decade ago. It has been completely renovated. Again, I didn't take many photos. 

...a ladies pocket

a chatelaine

a "huswife"

The museum was getting ready to close. 

Full disclosure...this was our last full day on our own. The next day, my husband had meetings so we had real time restraints. While in D.C. our group went to the Supreme Court to be sworn in and to hear an oral argument. We did this the last time so we didn't go. There are limited slots available. The Supreme Court is smaller than you might think. You are not that far away from the bench. The lawyers being sworn in are, of course, on the other side of the "bar" and are even closer to the justices. It was a great photos in the court.

They also went to the Holocaust Museum. We had recently been to the one in St. Petersburg, Florida and you had to be there at 7:30 a.m. We passed. They also went to The White House. Again, we passed.


The next day we got started early. I have photos of these three on my kitchen windowsill. It was from our last trip here. Now, we have a newer version. He's located in the Sculpture Garden outside the Archives.

The Archives...the place where all the paper lives. You will have to take my word for photos in the Archives. The light is kept very low to help preserve the documents. They are under glass in metal cases. We saw them all...the Declaration Of Independence...still in readable condition. The Bill of Rights. And, the faded and pale...the ink appears to be sepia colored. It is moving to see the signatures...what is left of them...up close. It was a short and sweet visit.

We moved up The Mall toward The Capitol.

It was a gorgeous day and it felt good to be outside in the sunshine among the cherry blossoms.
Remember this is the busiest time of year in Washington. The spring breakers and tourists fill the city. Congress was in session so the place was hopping!

We walked around outside.We did the inside on our last visit. A must see for every U.S citizen, but too much going on for a family trying to relax and enjoy some Mother Nature.

Such a beautiful building.

The Supreme Court

The Library of Congress. We had wanted to go to the Library but ran out of time. It's beautiful inside, and another place I recommend as a place to see when visiting D.C.

We enjoyed our time in our nation's capital so much. Of course, it's "going home" for me. I've seen all these places many times before, but I love sharing them with my family. Surprisingly, I can still manage to navigate the city all these years later. I still remember where to turn!

One more post to finish things off. 

Enjoy the day,