Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday's Freedom leads to Saturday

So, I was talking with some fellow workers the other day and I asked--what is your favorite day of the week?

And of course the response was--Friday!

Really? I asked?

Yeah, sure they emphatically stated. What's your favorite day of the week?

Saturday, I replied.

And they looked at me! Of course it is their favorite day, too. I was just a wee bit outside the box they had made for themselves.

We can argue about favorite days of the week--but in my mind I'd rather be enjoying the day than planning to enjoy the day. People who love Fridays love it because the feel a sense of relief about coming to the end of another work week.

But we need to be in the moment! Be happy where we are because we have a lot of important things to do right where we are.

Enjoy the day!

Not constantly be thinking we'd rather be somewhere else.

Right--like the Dry Tortugas? Snorkeling?

Easier said than done.

Still, all things being what they are--my favorite day is still Saturday--even when the dog wakes me up at 4:30AM. That means I just get to enjoy more of my favorite day!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Counting on God - Song

I've been listening to a song lately that really gets me excited. It gets my mind and blood moving as I drive to and from work.

It is Counting on God by Jared Anderson© 2007 Vertical Worship Songs. Or watch and listen to Counting on God on You Tube.

The Bridge in the song is as follows:

The miracle of Christ in me
Is the mystery that sets me free
I'm nothing like I used to be
Open up your eyes you'll see

It is the bridge that pulls the entirety of the song together as it describes the miracle and the mystery that sets us free--

Free from what? You ask?

From the law of sin and death.

I have seen what I call mixed up Christianity lately. It is populated by those who do not understand the concept of not being under the law. They continue to hold onto parts and preach openly about performing duties under parts of the Law--but do not understand that you cannot hold onto only parts of the Law--you have to take it all or none. And if you hold onto the Law then you can only be justified by the Law and that is by definition: impossible! Except for Jesus who fulfilled the Law.

Galatians 2:16 says it best:

yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. - NET Bible

Hence the mixed up Christianity. It is good to be knowledgeable of the Law--in order to appreciate how Christ has set us free through grace. But--we cannot continue to hold onto parts of the Law because they are convenient. There is a lot of the Law which is not convenient.

So if the Law is designed to convict us and make us come to grips with our guilt--why do we insist on not recognizing the miracle which freed us from the grip of the Law?

We are a mixed up people. I think partly because we have a hard time accepting that the mystery of freedom is that it is free! We can't do anything and we are a people of doers. We have to do something to take ownership and make it feel like we deserve whatever it is we worked for.

But that's it--isn't it? We don't deserve it! No one is good enough or has done enough.

And the Chorus of the song is the kicker!
Joy unspeakable that won't go away
And just enough strength
To live for today
So I never have to worry
What tomorrow will bring
'Cause my faith is on solid rock
I am counting on God

I'm counting on God!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Colors

Two weekends ago as we were in Niagara Falls, I was surprised that the autumn colors were only beginning to be on display in the trees.

This picture was taken along the Niagara River of trees in colorful foliage--but no where near maximum color.

I had expected to see fully colored trees--robed in the colors of Autumn.

But not.

That has since occurred here in Maryland and the leaves are falling from the trees with increasing ferocity.

That coupled with the rain really lets me know--the dark times of winter are upon us.

But it is nice to enjoy the colors of the trees while they last because their beauty will sustain us though the gray and white season.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leaves, Grass, and Autumn Lawn Mowing

I mowed the lawn last evening after work. While this doesn't in itself seem to be of any great consequence--it was an experience. We have a bagger for the mower to help keep the grass clippings off the lawn because, well, the track into the house and make a mess.

Yesterday, because the fallen leaves of autumn were all around on the ground, the bagger wasn't even making it once around the yard. It significantly increased the amount of time necessary to complete the relatively simple task of mowing. At one point I was very frustrated with the leaves and the expense of time. It was getting cool in the evening air as I was mowing and I really wanted to finish.

It is amazing how the lawns seem to change with the seasons. We change the height of the mower to accommodate the differences in the grass. And I really have to enjoy mowing in the autumn, because I never really know when the last mow of the season will occur. Usually, here in Maryland it is sometime in November.

But you never know--it is weather dependent.

Somehow, I think the snow is coming!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Musings - October 26, 2009

1. The autumn leaves were magnificent this weekend, in full color and also falling to the ground to blanket the yard with their beauty. There is something about a clear blue sky and golden and red colored trees that makes the heart sing--even though it is a harbinger of the winter ahead.

2. Celebrations! Baby showers, anniversaries, birthdays--we continue in so many different ways to celebrate life and new life and lives together. Congrats Nicole and Jeremy on your anniversary and also for the expectations of the new life, Lucas, that you are bringing into the world.

3. Why does Makayla get up early on Saturdays, but not want to get up on on Mondays? She needs a Friday night play date with a furry friend!

4. Family, football, friends and food! Would you really want a Sunday without them?

5. Conference planning is hard work! It doesn't matter if there are 50 or 180 people in attendance--the planning to make a conference successful is really trying. And when it is over--they is a long sigh of relief.

6. I heard a funny pronunciation of the H1N1 moniker this week-- hiney! If you look at it as HiNi--it kinda works.

7. An adjunct to conference planning--hosting a party for 20 people in the house is harder work than planning for a conference. At least fro the conference I can use a caterer AND, I don't need to clean up afterwards! Way to go Chris and Jodie--you guys rock!

8. What is the equivalent to an NFL quarterback throwing a 80 yard touchdown pass with time expiring to win the game? Sending Bob out in his truck into Baltimore an hour-and-a-half before a baby shower to retrieve a critical gift! Oh yeah--better be back before it starts!

9. Pop quiz--how do you make a sore back disappear? Play three games of racquetball in the morning!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conference Week

This is the week I am hosting the annual conference at work. We had over 170 people sign up and that is a huge logistical effort trying to keep the agenda moving and ensure the support for all of the attendees.

Tomorrow--Friday is the last day. Yay.

I have had a lot of help again this year and I really understand how much teamwork is necessary to pull a three-day conference off.

The agenda was pretty well constructed--but as always--there are last minute changes and adjustments.

I dread conference week every year. It is a lot of work and planning and the execution requires a lot of team work. But mostly it is a lot of work and a lot to keep straight and make sure it looks effortless even though it is a lot of effort.

It is good to reconnect with old friends though.

I guess I should embrace the opportunity to plan and execute the conference--but all I see is the mountain of work--which is now almost over!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Weddings and Stuff - Mature Subject Matter


Wow! They are really an event.

I have been to a few, including my own, over time. This past weekend I was honored to be able to attend the wedding of my niece Andrea to a seemingly nice man, Brian. I never really met Brian, nor did I get to know Brian. Chris and I had a good time though, reconnecting with family and friends--mostly family. We remembered how much fun we all have when we get together.

Weddings are a celebration. A really important celebration in the lives of not only those getting married, but those witnesses assembled as well. It is all about the future and the life that two people will forge together.

But I know something about Brian and Andrea that, in retrospect, I really don't need to know nor do I or did I care to know. But it was everywhere at the wedding. I had never thought about it before--although I guess it is at every wedding. But I think our myopic focus on it really misses the importance of the wedding day as it forges forward into the married life.

From statements made about the color of the wedding gown by the pastor to some of the statements made about the couple--it seems everything hinges on (shhh!) sex! Really! I mean, some people were really preoccupied with it.

It dawns on me the level of focus on the the activity of the wedding night is misplaced. I mean--are we celebrating an orgy or the union of two individuals into a new being? Are we all frustrated adults longing for the longings of our youth? Or are we genuinely concerned about the ability of two people we love and care about to succeed as a married couple in a world where the cards are stacked against them.

When does a marriage begin? At the moment of "I do?" Or did it begin when words were spoken and accepted asking to get married? The foundations of a strong marriage are laid well before the walk down the aisle. Already, by the wedding day, the couple has had to learn to deal with stress, and nerves, and things not going right as well as the joys and highs of life. From these beginnings, marriages are forged.

I guess I never really thought about it before, but we are concerned about the wrong things.

It would have been better to focus on their compatibility and willingness to work together in the future as a couple, the process of becoming one; rather than on activities which did or did not occur in the past! Did I really need to know that they couldn't sit closer together that the width of a bible? (It's not that thick standing on edge!) Come on--I hug a lot of people, but I don't marry them. I sit closer than that to perfect strangers when I am sandwiched into an airplane seat.

As long as we continue to be solely focused on the peripheral trappings we will continue to miss the bigger picture: how do we help ensure marriages are full of long-term happiness and team work. Today's world requires married couples to be a team. To be willing to pick up the slack for one of the couple when times are tough and to be able to celebrate victories--beginning with the small ones, when they happen. To focus on the joy of life and not the shortcomings of material possessions.

Congratulations Brian and Andrea. To quote a line from an old science fiction TV show: "Live long and prosper!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Niagara Falls Day Trip

The majesty and magnificence of some of the natural wonders of the world continue to awe me--even though I've seen them and enjoyed them before.

Who cannot be awed by the sheer volume of water rushing over the falls of Niagara?

Although I experienced the falls from the base aboard the Maid of the Mist on other occasions, it never ceases to remind me of how insignificant I am when compared to the grandeur of the planet and its natural raw power. And beauty. And trust me--I'm no beauty!

The day, however, was idyllic. The sky was generally clear and while cool--it was not cold. We were able to enjoy the first hints of autumn colors on the leaves along the falls with the other visitors.
And consider for a moment the Maid of the Mist--the boats that take visitors close to the base of the falls to enjoy the sheer power and magnitude of the rushing water. Standing on the deck of these small ships in the middle of the falls. It can only be imagined. Although the whole trip lasts only about 20 minutes--start to finish, it seems much longer when you are actually at the falls admiring them.
So take time--admire the beauty around you--in your own backyard or where ever you travel. Get off the beaten path (a/k/a interstate) and checkout the sights. There is a lot to see and to enjoy.
I was struck by our conversation in the car--which went something like:
"I cant believe we are going so slow"
"Don't they drive faster?"
"Aren't these old stately homes beautiful?"
"Are we there yet?"
"Does it matter how fast we drive--we are just going to get to the airport and wait!"
We have all become victims of the hurry up and get there philosophy. So what if a 90 mile trip took over two hours with no stops?
The sights along the way were well worth the price of admission.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Musings - October 19, 2009

1. What a season of celebration this is. Birthdays and weddings and anniversaries. Happy Birthday today to Jeremy.

2. Eight hour drive vs one hour flight--you do the math. Who knew that Rochester, NY was so close? Even so, why was I so tired when I got home? All I did was ride in the back like a the self-loading cargo that I am.

3. When traveling, make sure to take time to see the area--and we did yesterday doing a return trip to Niagara Falls, NY. It was a beautiful day.

4. Weddings are one way that families reconnect. It allows everyone to get back together for a while and remember how much we used to see everyone and how busy and separate our lives are now.

5. One more time--why are weekends only two days long? I usually need three or more days to get it all in.

6. Thanks to Patrick and Tina for driving us to and from the airport and retrieving Makayla for us.

7. Two lane roads in Upstate NY are pretty to drive along on a sunny autumn Sunday--but don't plan on getting anywhere in a hurry! The proportion of police to miles traveled is higher in NY than anywhere else I have been in a while. I also noticed a huge driving philosophical difference--in Maryland, drivers drive the speed limit plus five (or ten) MPH. In Upstate NY--they drive the speed limit minus five, UGH!

8. And for my political comment of the week: I meet a lot of people who think the President enacts laws--actually it is the Congress. If we are unhappy about what's happening in Washington--let's change Congress--they pass the laws, raise taxes, and develop flawed health care proposals. BTW--2010 is an election year. Just remember who had control of the Congress (both Houses) when the economic decline started and decided to do nothing to ensure that a Democrat would get elected President! Now they blame the other guys for their intentional lack of action.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Maryland Driving: Stories From the Rain Swept Highway

I wonder why Maryland drivers cannot drive in the rain.

It seems that as the little drops of precipitation fall from the sky, the skills of Maryland drivers drops to a negative number.


1. Ignore the wet road and continue to drive aggressively to facilitate redecorating your car with an oak tree hood ornament. The flowers in the headlights add a nice touch as well.

2. Become paralyzed with fear and slow to 15 MPH to allow traffic to congregate around you as other, more rational drivers contemplate how to get by with or without causing an accident. Many are contemplating how to force you off the road.

3. Tailgate so that when the driver in front taps their brakes you have no choice but to veer off the roadway into the manicured median strip.

4. While driving a pick-up truck, attempt to rapidly accelerate while going up a clover leaf onto I-95 to facilitate doing a 360 degree turn in the roadway and hoping not to involve any other unsuspecting driver(s) in the ensuing situation as you careen off the road surface--backwards. Is that what they call putting the cart before the horse?

5. While attempting to merge onto the controlled access highway in the rain during rush hour, come to a complete stop at the end of the on ramp to wait for a gap in traffic sufficient to allow entry from a standing start. Wait for a really large gap because the road is wet and you don't want to spin your tires as you accelerate. Wonder why there are so many cars in line behind you. Look confused when other drivers give you animated gestures as they pass you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The World is Watching-- World Cup Qualifying

I had a really new experience last evening.

Jeremy and I traveled to RFK Stadium in D.C. (and it was a travel--the usual 30 min trip took over 2 hours because of traffic!) to watch the U.S. Soccer Team play against Costa Rica in the final World Cup qualifying match. I had never watched a U.S. team play in international competition before.

Good news--the U.S. already clinched a World Cup berth by beating Honduras in Honduras on Saturday. So we didn't even need a win to get to South Africa.

Ok--here is the fun part. How many times have you watched a U.S. Team or individual play or participate in a sport on television and heard the chant U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A?

I know I have a whole lot.

Better than watching on TV, is to be in the crowd doing the chanting and believing that the louder the crowd chants, the better the U.S. team plays.

Down at field level was Sam's Army decked out in red-white, and blue cheering and when goals were scored celebrating enthusiastically with the best of all banners--the U.S. Flag! How can you not love being there.

And it seemed true last night as the U.S. Soccer Team overcame a two goal deficit to tie Costa Rica 2-2 in the final. The last goal being scored with just about 30 seconds of playing time left and the U.S. Team down a man due to a late injury and no substitutions left. It is the stuff movies are made of.

The rain was falling, the lights burned bright into the night and on the stage rabid supporters of two countries cheered their teams. Sam's Army was a sight to behold. After the game, the members of the U.S. team came over and celebrated with Sam's Army and that was another of the coolest things--they thanked the fans for their support, right on the field after the game.

It was fun! And somehow, we never doubted that the U.S. team would not lose! And they did not lose even when down by a man and with a lot less to play for than the Costa Ricans who needed a win to advance to the World Cup next year in South Africa! The Costa Ricans (a/k/a Ticos) are now playing a two-game playoff (or play-in) against Uruguay for the last spot.

So if you get a chance--go someplace with a lot of other Americans yelling
U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A

Enjoy yourself. It surely doesn't happen enough.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Talking the Walk

Sunday in church, a real interesting statement was made:

Talk without action is heresy
Action without talk is mystery

I wrote it down so I could remember it.

It goes with some well known phrases:

"Talk is cheap!"
“If you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk”
"Actions speak louder than words"
“Practice what you preach”
"Walk it like you talk it”
"Put your money where your mouth is"
"Don't let your mouth write checks your body can't cash"

Of course it is a twist on a couple of Bible verses from James:

But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? - James 2:20 (NET Bible)

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. - James 2:26 (NET Bible)

But it was the second part of the memory jogger that really hit me--"action without talk is mystery!" Interesting!

So you do something really cool for someone and don't do the second part--we need to tell them why! If we don't tell them why, they are left with a big thank-you but you've missed a valuable opportunity to do something even cooler--tell them who your are working for!

You don't have to puff yourself up with it all, be humble--the likelihood is that they were put in your path for a reason: so you could give them a piece of good news!

We seem to get wrapped up in our society with telling and directing and postulating good ideas--but we are pretty sloppy on the follow through! But when follow through happens, it is OK to make sure the beneficiary of the action knows the why for the action. Don't leave it a mystery! They need to know.

Anonymous deeds are great--if you are doing them for self-aggrandizement reasons. But if you are in the service of someone else (like God?)--humbly talk about it! Give the credit that is due. How else will someone understand the love that is waiting for them? Someone has to tell them!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the Vineyard

One of the highlights of the weekend to Charlottesville was going out into one of the vineyards with the wine maker and discussing the grapes. They were black, and ripe, and oh so sweet. It was Keswick Vineyards.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love wine. We visit a lot of wineries, but few--like almost none, allow you to stroll the vineyards and especially not with the winemaker. It was awesome--and we were so impressed that we joined the wine club so that we have to go back a couple times per year!!

It was really interesting to have him show me how he knows--in addition to all the scientific stuff, when the grapes are really ready to pick. And how to tell when the wines are going to be great. We were talking about the rain and the weather in relation to picking the grapes--they like it a bit dry. I even learned how to tell what color the wine will be by the skin on the grapes.

The wines they make though are oh so good. Chris and I even fancied for a bit about retiring and opening a vineyard! Yeah--me a farmer? I'd rather be scuba diving. LOL.

Oh, but the day was so fun and the weather so good and I really developed an appreciation for Virginia wines.

Grapes are picked and selected by hand! just like in "olden" times. Even Chris got into the harvesting act. The vineyards were just beginning to have their leaves turn and so we got some really cool pictures of the grapes and the leaves and the sky and the sun!

The funniest thing was when we stopped on our way to the tasting center to get some pictures and a pair of dogs came charging at Chris as she was snapping the picture of the red leaved grapes. She got a little panicked because there was a "No Trespassing" sign right where she was standing.

But even so, with a steady hand and a beating heart, like the photographer she is--she got her shot before the dogs devoured her. OK--we later found out that they probably would have licked her to death because they are really nice dogs.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Musings - October 12, 2009

1. I do not understand why schools do not celebrate Federal Holidays! Our schools get Yom Kippur and Rosh Hosanna off, but not Columbus Day or Veterans Day. I think this is a problem.

2. Explain this to me--why do parents of special needs children believe they are entitled to services which rob other children of basic educational needs? I mean--some special needs children seem to get incredible amounts of support, yet the normal children are essentially paying for these services and resources by having to make do with less.

3. My wife really created the perfect birthday present for me with the weekend escape to Charlottesville. Thanks Chris--and good job. I only hope I can be a creative with your birthday.

4. Why do I seem to work harder on holidays than non-holidays? With the help of Patrick and Tina the wood pile is now split firewood, stacked and ready to burn! BTW--I also played a racquetball match today and my back is a mess from everything I did.

5. Nicole and Mike returned from France tonight. Wow. I am so happy for them getting to get a weekend in Paris! I hope you had fun--and I am sure you did.

6. Passport? We don't need no stinking passports. OK--I'm going to get one. Really! 'Cause I want to travel. Look out Bonaire--here I come.

7. What a great month October is--baseball playoffs, football is in full swing, hockey is rolling! Wow.

8. Think about this---the World Series with Los Angeles Dodgers vs the New York Yankees! Joe Torre does NY!!! It could happen unless the Angels save us from another Yankee coronation.

9. Wow it was cold today! Can I move someplace warmer?

10. Holidays. Enjoy them! The seasons seem to move faster and faster--they are a blur. If only we could stop for a minute and hold onto the memories and the relationships we have adn expand them on each holiday.

11. Priorities. Think about it. So many of us have them really messed up. We don;t seem to recognize the importance of family--and family seems to drop lower and lower because they are always there. Strangers even begin to move higher in our priorities than our family. What is wrong with this picture?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jeremy, Goals, and The Baltimore Marathon

A new experience yesterday--actually attending a running event of world class proportions: The Baltimore Marathon.

Wow! I was amazed at the number of people--20,000 runners and over 70,000 spectators all over Baltimore! And it was a sight to behold--all of the people and runners.

And of course our own--Jeremy who ran in the Half Marathin. That would be 13.1 miles for those of you who are trying to figure the distance out..

We went with Nicole and had a great time at the running festival. We watched the start, enjoyed the crowds and Inner Harbor while he ran, and then watched him finish with panache!

Jeremy was the winner--he set a tough goal, trained for it, and completed it! We should all be able to set goals and then have the intensity and mettle to achieve them!

Way to go Jer!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Monroe and Ash Lawn-Highland

So the answer to the question about the 5th President is of course James Monroe.

His home is also near Charlottesville, VA and is very close to Jefferson's Monticello. The home is called Ash Lawn-Highland. James and Elizabeth lived there although due to fire and subsequent rebuilding only part of the original structure survives. The surviving part, interestingly enough, is painted white and you can see that part in the pictures. The not so original part is yellow.

In addition to the Monroe Doctrine, James is credited with saving the originals of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence when the British fooled the military and attacked Washington instead of Baltimore.

By comparison to both Monticello and Montpelier, Ash Lawn-Highland is modest, but still well above the standard for a normal Virginia family of the time.

Many of the furnishings are authentic Monroe or period pieces--but the curator has made some significant deviations which if you are a purist could detract from the historical sense of the visit.

An interesting tidbit--the first White House wedding (although during the period it was known as the President's House) was for Monroe's daughter Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803–1850) who married her second cousin Samuel L. Gouverneur on March 8, 1820.

Ash Lawn-Highland is owned and administered by The college of William and Mary.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Madison and Montpelier

Continuing in my Charlottesville, VA vacation series. On to President number 4, James Madison.

Chris and I visited the Madison plantation at Montpelier Station, VA and had a very enjoyable afternoon.

I learned two very important things during my visit with the Madisons.

First, how to spell Montpelier! Yeah--that was a toughie for me because obviously I have been mispronouncing the place all these years.

Second, that the correct spelling of James' wife's name is Dolley! (Check it out!)

And adjunct item we learned was that James was reported to be a short as 5'2" tall. Although most historians give his height as 5'4". I did read that his height is listed between 5'2" and 5'6" and that the more a person liked him, the taller his height was recorded.

I was honored to be able to pose with the former President and First Lady. Due to his vertically challenged stature, James is almost always shown seated in the presence of Dolley.

The plantation is a great place to visit. I recommend early in the day--but any really nice day will do. I did enjoy early October. The house has been fully restored but is sparsely furnished. Try not to compare Montpelier to Monticello--it will not work. They are light years apart in terms of historical recreation. But, Montpelier is coming along fast.

You can see the genius of Madison in the construction of the house. Jefferson reportedly called Madison the best farmer he had ever known. And it seems true.

A tour of the house is fascinating, but like so many other places--no pictures! Ugh! There are many outside areas and archaeological places to visit. Additionally, the influence of the Dupont's (subsequent owners of the property to the Madisons) can be seen and the foundation is attempting to account for these changes and in many cases recreate the originals as closely as possible.

The discussion of the enslaved people working for the Madisons and of course Madison's authoring of the Constitution generates some interesting comments during the tours. I find it interesting that we continue to impose a revisionist view of history on things past without truly understanding the times and situation. We need to adopt the idea--that that is he way it was and we cannot fully understand it using our 20th and 21st century reasoning.

Would we do things differently? Don't say yes too quickly without really getting into the period and recognizing what the alternatives were.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


That's it. It hit me last evening as I was out shopping with Chris. She dragged me out against my will and we were in Macy's where her cover story was that she wanted to return a pair of shoes. But in fact, she wanted to buy me some new shirts because she was tired of looking at me wearing the same t-shirt around the house. Actually, one of about 4 t-shirts that I like.

There I was--in the men's clothing area when I had an epiphany. Not only do I HATE shopping for clothes, but I realized why:

I'm a twenty-something trapped in a fifty-something's body!

I want to wear the hot, young fashions--but I would look ridiculous. You've seen them around--the near fifty-somethings wearing the teenager style shirts and jeans. It is not pretty!

I think my daughter calls it: age appropriate attire or something like that.

While in Charlottesville last weekend we saw a couple adorned in earrings and youthful clothes trying to hide their years of experience. It wasn't an enjoyable sight to behold.

So I should dress my age?


And just after having a birthday too--no wonder this is still on my mind.

So as I sit here this morning, screaming out at the world because I'm older I take stock of the situation. It is pretty dismal!

I'm actually here at my computer this morning and not playing racquetball because my elbow is sore and I don't know why. I decided, in a moment of incredible rational thought, to give it a rest after my league match was canceled last night. What a concept. I never had elbow problems as a twenty-something and I played racquetball five times per week!

I'm wearing glasses so I can see the computer screen! I have 20/15 vision for anything farther away than eight feet! Used to be able to see up close, too.

I have a sore muscle in my right leg, too! Don't know where that came from!

I was in bed by 10pm last night--not the 1 am of my youth!

Hmmm--then it is true--I am definitely trapped!

I wonder if there is a way out?

Anyone? Ideas?

Yeah, I know--get over it. It happens to us all. Embrace it.

Really? I don't have many options, so I guess I need to embrace where I am and play smarter, not harder. And live smarter, not harder.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jefferson and Monticello

Well, I finally got to visit Charlottesville, VA and Monticello. It was well worth the visit and there is so much to do there.

This picture is my favorite--it is of course the famous nickle view (which is the back of the house) but I shot it through some flowers to frame it a bit.

The house is well furnished and really is a testament to Jefferson and the enlightened person he was--as a scientist and a political figure.

The front of the house is very different. Most people don't realize it. As with most places they did not allow pictures inside-which is too bad because there is a lot of neat stuff in there.

The gardens and paths are absolutely beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed walking around the grounds and looking around at the fascinating things. Of the five historical sites we visited--this one is by far the best and most complete. It is also the most expensive, but well worth the money.
Along the paths, Chris was able to capture this hummingbird doing its routine. The bird stayed in place for quite some time.
I definitely recommend a visit to Monticello--as part of a day or weekend in Charlottesville. Allow at least four hours to fully enjoy the place.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Musings - October 5, 2009

1. It is amazing how quickly a week can go by when you are busy and how long it takes to go by when you want it to be next week.

2. Charlottesville, VA is a rocking town. We had a great time there this past weekend. Wine and history, what could be better.

3. Why it is that when you are having fun, but you need to be somewhere else the time spent doing fun is gone so quickly.

4. The reward for a great weekend in Virginia is really rotten traffic on the way home.

5. Hot air balloons are really neat.

6. Monticello is awesome and so is Montpelier. I can't believe I've lived here so long and only just this weekend got to these historic places.

7. Pop quiz--and the 5th President of the U.S. was? And he is from where? I saw his house and plantation too.

8. Why does a two-and-a-half hour drive today seem as long as a six hour drive a couple years
My Zimbio
Top Stories